Romanians living abroad considered part of military reserve force will be required to return home and fulfill their military duties in case of a state of emergency, state of siege or state of war declared by the government, according to a law project released by Romania’s Defense Ministry. In case of non-observance of this law, Romanians living abroad would risk being fined.
The project says any Romanian citizen considered part of the military reserve force, who has moved temporarily in another country, has to go to his local military center within ten days from the date the state of emergency/war is officially declared “in order to fulfill the military service as a concentrated or mobilized reservist.”
The Romanians living permanently abroad have 15 days to reach their local military center, but only in case of mobilization or state of war.
The law project is the latest attempt to address the Romanians’ low interest in serving in the army following the end of compulsory military service after the country joined NATO in 2004.
During the last decade, around 3.5 million Romanians have gone abroad to escape poverty and widespread corruption in their own country, according to a recent UN International Migration Report.
Few Romanian young people are interested in serving in the army due to low wages and poor instruction and equipment as the former Soviet satellite still relies on old Soviet-age equipment and offers to recruits decades-old military barracks.
On August 10, tens of thousands of Romanians living abroad came to Bucharest to protest against the government, but faced brutal intervention from local gendarmes.
Last week, several top-ranking officials in the Romanian Gendarmerie, including Catalin Sindile and Sebastian Cucos, were called to the General Prosecutor’s Office to be made aware of their suspect status in the case related to the violent intervention of gendarmes against protesters on August 10 in Bucharests’s Victoriei Square.
They have been indicted for abuse in office and forgery.