Jan. 20, 2013, midnight
Austrian citizens voted on January 20 in a referendum determining the future of the composition of the Austrian Army. In the referendum, voters were asked two questions; “Are you in favor of maintaining the universal military and the civil service?” and “Are you for the introduction of a professional army and a paid voluntary social year?” The results of the referendum showed that Austrians want to keep the compulsory military service with 59.7 percent (1,947,116 voters) in favor of universal service, and 40.3 percent (1,315,278 voters) in favor of the professional army. 52.4 percent (3,344,940 citizens) of the population participated in the referendum, which was non-binding on the government. The question of the future of the military service has divided the ruling coalition government, but all parties have pledged to respect the will of the voters.