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Parliamentary questions
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18 April 2019
Question for written answer P-002045-19
to the Commission
Rule 130
Jo Leinen (S&D)

 Subject:  Fundamental right to conscientious objection to military service
 Answer in writing 

Greek legislation continues to discriminate against conscientious objectors to military service. The substitute civilian service remains punitive and discriminatory in length, cost and location. Moreover, the assessment of applications for conscientious objector status is not placed under the full control of the civilian authorities and the right to conscientious objection (CO) after enlistment is not recognised. What is more, the right to fair trial is violated by military courts that convict civilians who refuse to take up military service.

Although Greek legislation on CO is in breach of the right to CO, as outlined in Article 10(2) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU (CFR), the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) refuses to deal with the right to CO and de facto excludes conscientious objectors from the implementation of the FRA’s guideline ‘Helping to make fundamental rights a reality for everyone in the European Union’.

Violating the right to CO also means non-compliance with the imperative of non-discrimination, as provided for by Article 21 CFR, and the scope of guaranteed rights, as provided for in its Article 52.

What measures will the Commission consider so as to remedy these shortcomings? How will it ensure that the Member States no longer violate the right to CO? How will it ensure that the protection of the right to CO is no longer excluded from the remit of the FRA’s work?

Last updated: 30 April 2019Legal notice