Budapest (MTI) – The radical nationalist Jobbik party plans to submit a proposal to parliament on establishing a volunteer army with free basic training.
Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, Jobbik deputy chairman Elod Novak said that although the constitution declares that all Hungarian citizens have an obligation to defend the country, the state does not provide would-be volunteers the necessary basic training.
Novak said it is currently possible to volunteer for the reserve force but this requires applicants to join the army for six months every three years. This has the effect of dissuading “tens of thousands” of potential applicants who would otherwise happily receive training.
Novak said the key element of their proposal is that all suitable applicants aged between 18 and 65 years should participate in free basic training. Having completed this, volunteers could form reserve forces that would be drafted in cases such as disaster relief or border protection. He said this could be a “third pillar” of the armed forces, but such reservists should not be deployed beyond the country’s borders.
Jobbik said the abolition of compulsory national service had been a blow to the country’s self-defence force. “Public confidence in the police and the armed forces among citizens has perceptibly grown due to the recent wave of illegal immigration,” it said, adding there was now increased interest in performing military tasks.