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Old 14.02.2020, 08:08
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Re: Military Service (Switzerland - Italy Bilateral Agreement?)

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Genuine question : is the military service so tough here one would make everything they could to avoid it?

I mean, there are countries where military service is (or was) rather tough and long, but here? What are the rules? Can you pay instead of.....serving?
https://www.ch.ch/en/military-service-exemption-tax

https://www.ch.ch/en/performing-compulsory-service/
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  #42  
Old 14.02.2020, 10:08
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Re: Military Service (Switzerland - Italy Bilateral Agreement?)

Hi Maure


I'm pretty sure you're misreading the text of the bilateral agreement. This gets a bit long, but stay with me. :-)


You really should fall under the heading of Artikel 4. According to Art 4.2 your obligation towards Switzerland is void if you already have fulfilled your military duties to Italy, or been exempted from them.


The preceeding Art 4.1 means in your case, that you should chose, within one year after getting your Swiss citizenship, which country's obligations to fulfill.



You never made such a choice because military duties in Switzerland were only extended to your age range after you got Swiss citizenship. You therefore feel, you should get to make the choice now. I agree in principle, but unfortunately this is quite irrelvant.



You argue that, had you been asked, or could chose now, you would chose Italy. (Art 4.1) And, because Italy has suspended its obligatory military service, you could fulfill your duties to Italy simply by doing nothing. Your duties to Italy thus already fulfilled (or been exempted from them), you automatically get ridd of your duties to Switzerland. (Art 4.2)



I'm afraid this is a contrafactual reading as to the intent and the content of the agreement. The whole agreement only exists to spare double citizens from having to fulfill their duties to both countries at once. (View preamble.) The law is therefore intended to stop a discrimination of double citizens and not to create any special advantages for them.


However, according to your interpretation, such an advantage would automatically come into being, if one country ever abolished or suspended its obligatory military duties. In this case, according to you, regular citizens of the other country would still have to fulfill their obligatory duties, while double citizens, living besides them, would no longer have such a compulsion.



This was clearly never the intention of the bilateral agreement. Mistakes do happen, but the people crafting international laws are generally quite methodical and very unlikely to overlook such a glaring problem. And indeed they didn't.



The whole of Art 4. is subsidiary to Art 3. And in Art 3.2 it says, that the choice of which country to fullfill your duty to, only exists for as long as both countries actually have such obligatory duties. Should one country abolish or suspend said duties, this choice goes away and you have to fulfill the duties of your country of residence.


There is only one small exception. If the first country officially provides voluntary services as an alternative to military duties, you can declare to your country of residence, that you have already undertaken (or are bindingly comitted to undertake) such voluntary services. I guess that's what they meant when they told you that, "you need to prove that you did at least 90 days of work in Italy (i.e: Military Service, Civil Defense, Community Service, or anything similar)."



I'm pretty sure this means you are on the hook for paying.



Regards,
Verne.


-----------




Preambel:
Der Schweizerische Bundesrat und die Regierung der Republik Italien,
vom Wunsch geleitet, Personen, die zugleich die italienische und die schweizerische Staatsangehörigkeit besitzen, Schwierigkeiten in Bezug auf ihre militärischen Pflichten auszuräumen und sicherzustellen, dass die militärischen Pflichten nur in einem der beiden Staaten erfüllt werden müssen.


Art 3.2 [...] Die Wahlmöglichkeit wird unter der Bedingung zugelassen, dass die Gesetzgebung des Staates, in dem der Doppelbürger seine militärischen Pflichten zu erfüllen wünscht, einen obligatorischen Militärdienst oder Zivildienst vorsieht. Sollte einer der beiden Staaten den obligatorischen Militärdienst abschaffen oder zeitweilig aufheben, so bleibt die Wahl nur gültig, wenn sie die ausdrückliche Erklärung des Doppelbürgers enthält, dass er sich für eine der freiwilligen Dienstleistungen verpflichtet, die von diesem Staat vorgesehen werden [...]


Art 4.

1. Erwirbt ein Bürger eines der Vertragsstaaten die Staatsangehörigkeit des anderen Staates nach dem 1. Januar des Jahres, in dem er das 18. Lebensjahr vollendet, so hat er seine militärischen Pflichten unter Vorbehalt von Absatz 2 in dem Staat zu erfüllen, in dem er im Zeitpunkt der Einbürgerung seinen ständigen Aufenthalt hat. Er kann indessen innerhalb eines Jahres nach der Einbürgerung erklären, seine militärischen Pflichten gegenüber dem anderen Vertragsstaat erfüllen zu wollen.[...]


Art 4.2. Hat der Doppelbürger vor der Einbürgerung in dem Staat, dessen Staatsangehörigkeit er schon besass, bereits militärische Pflichten erfüllt oder wurde er davon befreit oder dispensiert, so hat er die weiteren militärischen Pflichten nur in diesem Staat zu erfüllen. Gegenüber dem Staat, dessen Staatsangehörigkeit er durch Einbürgerung erworben hat, gelten die militärischen Pflichten als erfüllt.



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  #43  
Old 14.02.2020, 10:15
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Re: Military Service (Switzerland - Italy Bilateral Agreement?)

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Genuine question : is the military service so tough here one would make everything they could to avoid it?
When I see they way they turn out....I think my old Chief Petty Officer would have had a heart attack and a few choice words if we ever dared to turn out so dishevelled!

And the foot ware... for a while there I thought there was a opportunity to sell dress boots to the army... but apparently they do issue them, but the poor dears don’t find them very comfortable!
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  #44  
Old 14.02.2020, 12:28
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Re: Military Service (Switzerland - Italy Bilateral Agreement?)

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Genuine question : is the military service so tough here one would make everything they could to avoid it?

I mean, there are countries where military service is (or was) rather tough and long, but here? What are the rules? Can you pay instead of.....serving?
My observation is the disruption military service causes and actually its undesirability to employers.

My youngest son is currently doing his recruitment phase which is about 5 months in duration. There are now two recruitment phases in each year, one of which begins in January and the other in July just before the end of the academic year. My son was in full time education so missed the July date and then had to wait around for over 6 months before being marched off. He picked up a bit of casual work in that time but not much. When he leaves the Army he will apply for a higher educational course. He will need to take an entrance exam and the Army will release him for the date of the exam but obviously give him no time for last minute revision or preparation. If he fails he will have another year's delay in his education.

The Army is also putting pressure on young men to stay on for a further 5 month period and indeed it can force a man to stay on. This happened to my older son. Apart from the interruption to a man's life plans it actually makes a man unattractive to employers as he then has to be released for a longer annual period commensurate with the rank he has achieved. Although employers aren't allowed to discriminate against a man on the basis of his military duty, I have heard of many cases where they do.

It was the case that a man could choose a civil duty which is a 2 year period of work (although it can be split) instead of military service but it seems too many young men are taking this option. I know of one case where a young man has been forced to interrupt his degree course as the option of fulfilling a civil duty has been taken away from him.

Both my sons accepted their duty and were/are happy enough to fulfil it, but it does have repercussions. Neither of my boys will be finished with their education until they are at least 26, which puts a bit of financial pressure on all of us to be honest.
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  #45  
Old 15.02.2020, 19:57
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Re: Military Service (Switzerland - Italy Bilateral Agreement?)

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Both my sons accepted their duty and were/are happy enough to fulfil it, but it does have repercussions. Neither of my boys will be finished with their education until they are at least 26, which puts a bit of financial pressure on all of us to be honest.
It is definitely true that it does come with some repercussions. In my case I was drafted for the initial evaluation shortly after I finished high school. Expecting that I would have to serve in the following months, I did not enroll at university for the following academic year. In the end it was decided that I would not have to serve in the army, but that I had to pay 3% extra taxes for a total of 11 years. I also delayed my studies for a year. During my time as a PhD student I have heard of Professors who would not want to hire any male Swiss PhD students who would have to serve in the army. My brother on the other hand, similarly as your older son was 'encouraged' to continue in the military beyond his minimum duties, which resulted in him having to interrupt his studies multiple times (you can't postpone those duties indefinitely). This led to him graduating with his masters half a year after I finished my studies (even though he started studying two years earlier).

Personally I do find the military service a grave misjustice and sexual discrimination imposed on men by the Swiss constitution. Unfortunately, it will not change any time soon as mandatory service has been backed in multiple votes (and with similar support from both men and women, interestingly even "moderate lefts" opposed to voluntary military service for men in the last vote in 2013). Needless to say that introduction of mandatory service for women is opposed as well by many. There is an initiative that wants to impose civil duties on all citizens in a broader context (not only military service but also others), but I am sceptical whether it will find support in the general public.
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