The Council of Ministers has approved yesterday the final draft of a bill concerning the introduction of the National Service, Juclandia’s version of a mandatory military service.

The bill is expected to be put to a vote in the Great National Assembly when it resumes its proceedings at the beginning of September.

As seen in the Council of Ministers, where it was approved unanimously, the bill enjoys cross-party support and it is unlikely to be rejected. The bill is necessary in order to implement article 46 of the Juclandian Constitution, which obliges the Government to ensure that all citizens enjoying full electoral rights go through basic defence training and other basic skills needed in case of catastrophe.

Juclandia’s Defence Minister, former Prime Minister Bestia Reformescu, presented in a news conference the intended structure of the National Service: unlike traditional military service, the minister said, Juclandia’s National Service will not only train citizens to use a weapon, but it will also be focused on teaching skills like driving, swimming, cooking, providing first aid, or participating in public life.

The National Service is also expected to help citizens increase their level of fitness, as well as improve their personal discipline and their understanding of social differences.

“It is not our desire to train obedient soldiers with no brains that will be forced to submit themselves to authority. We want to create strong, independent-minded citizens that can both thrive in life by being provided, without any cost, with very important skills, as well as citizens that are prepared to defend the country in case of danger”, the Defence Minister declared on Monday.

The National Service is expected to last for 9 months, rolled over a period of 3 years, in order for the activities proposed to not have a negative influence on the country’s economy or on the citizens’ personal lives.

The bill provides for less violent military training for those who object to more traditional self-defence training.

It also punishes those who will refuse to enlist in the National Service, by linking the provision of the universal basic income, implemented in Juclandia since 2013, to the completion of the National Service.

The costs incurred on the Government by the National Service will be covered by abolishing social and educational services that will become redundant once the National Service is implemented.

The first part of the program is expected to begin in June 2018.