Sky Shield Debate – Neutrality: What Do Young People Say?

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By joining the European Sky Shield initiative, Austrian neutrality is also an issue for young people. But what do young people actually think of this? The “Krone” talked to students, but they did not completely agree.

Austria’s entry into Sky Shield was hotly debated politically. The FPÖ warned of a violation of neutrality. On this occasion, the “Krone” spoke to young people about neutrality, military defense and the role of Austria on the international stage.

Useful or outdated?
You don’t quite agree. While some see neutrality as a good and sensible way to protect Austria from crises, others feel that neutrality is no longer “up to date”.

Chancellor Karl Nehammer (ÖVP) rejects the FPÖ’s warning that joining the Sky Shield would lead to a “breach of neutrality”. FPÖ leader Herbert Kickl was “very addicted to Russian propaganda” and a “security risk” for Austria, the chancellor says.

To “finally dispel all concerns about Sky Shield”, the chairman of the National Council, Wolfgang Sobotka (ÖVP), wants to hold a parliamentary information event in the autumn, where both international and national military and legal experts can exchange views with the involvement of all parliamentary groups.

And young people are also concerned with neutrality. “I think Austria should be more involved in dealing with foreign policy conflicts,” says a 17-year-old student. And joining the Sky Shield is also hotly debated. While some see accession as a break with neutrality, others believe that neutrality and military cooperation are not mutually exclusive.

“Neutrality does not make Austria apolitical”
“Neutrality does not make Austria apolitical”, argues one student. Active crisis protection is “necessary in times like these,” says the 17-year-old. “It just makes you feel safer with that extra defense in case of an emergency,” says another 16-year-old student.

“It’s just not neutral…”
Some young people find participation in Sky Shield “pointless”. “It’s just not neutral to join an active military defense,” says a 17-year-old student. But then you don’t really disagree. Almost everyone agrees that neutrality gives a sense of security.

Source: Krone

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