ZAGREB, 02. FEB. 2017 – The Croatian government is analysing the possibility of reintroducing compulsory military service, although the costs of bringing back conscription are not yet clear.The Croatian defence ministry is considering reintroducing a short period of compulsory military service for Croatians at summer training camps, but the costs remain unknown. Asked how much it will cost taxpayers, the defence ministry BIRN told that that “the Armed Forces are currently working on analyses and simulations of the benefits and challenges of such a possible decision”. The same kind of discussion has been going on in Serbia, where compulsory military service was abolished in 2011. However Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said that the country will not reintroduce conscription since it lacks the money; to do so would reportedly cost around 570 million euros. “I think it’s good that we have a professional army, as we have, I think it’s good to invest more in the army,” Vucic said. Croatian defence ministry pointed out that “one idea being considered is the model of summer camps that would last three to four weeks, during which they [conscripts]… would perform community service and environmental projects in cooperation with civilian institutions and the local community, and carry out a short training session in first aid and the mastering of basic military skills,” it said. Croatia suspended – and de facto abolished – six-month compulsory military service in 2008, but for more than a year there has been a debate about reintroducing it, an idea floated by the ruling centre-right Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ and President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic. Reintroducing full-scale conscription would cost between 40 and 65 million euros annually, according to former Defence Minister Ante Kotromanovic, so sources from the ministry first talked about introducing “a significantly cheaper” two-month service, and are now contemplating an even briefer ‘summer camp’. A summer initiative would save money on the heating of barracks and on supplying conscripts with winter clothing and equipment, it is argued. While visiting an air force base near Zagreb on Tuesday, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic about the government’s reasons for introducing military service back. “What the [Defence] Minister [Damir Krsticevic] wants to do with such an initiative… is to popularise the Croatian Armed Forces, make them attractive to young people, new generations, those today who don’t remember the time of the Homeland War [Croatia’s 1990s war],” Plenkovic said. Krsticevic also told public broadcaster, Croatian Radio-Television, HRT on Tuesday that this three-to-four-week training course would involve mastering basic military skills and helping civilian institutions. “Compulsory military service was ‘put on hold’ in 2008. Our intention isn’t bringing back military service, but we are considering the possibility of basic military training for our young people,” he said. He explained that it would be done in a modern way, emphasising that government’s wish is not “to militarise the society”. “It is the responsibility of our young people to our Croatia, to society as a whole, and I think that everyone can benefit from it,” Krsticevic said, adding that the financial aspects are still being analysed. While appearing as a guest on the ‘Novi dan’ (‘New Day’) show on N1 TV on Wednesday, Kotromanovic said that contemporary security risks – terrorism and humanitarian crises – cannot be tackled by people who have only comleted such a short stint of military service. He argued that by reconsidering some form of conscription, the government “wishes to please the president, while looking for the cheapest solution”. In 2015, President Grabar Kitarovic expressed a desire to reintroduce compulsory military service for a period of eight weeks.