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France's Macron brings back national service

June 27, 2018 4:12 pm

The French government has introduced a plan to bring back national service for all 16-year-olds.

It was an idea put forward by Emmanuel Macron in his presidential campaign, to promote a sense of civic duty and national unity among French youth.

But some remain unconvinced of the benefits.

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The new national service will cover all 16-year-olds, girls as well as boys, and will be divided into two distinct phases.

National service in two parts
The first phase is a mandatory one-month placement with a focus on civic culture, which the government says will “enable young people to create new relationships and develop their role in society”.

Voluntary teaching and working with charities are among the options being looked at, alongside traditional military preparation with the police, fire service or army.

The second phase is a voluntary placement of at least three months and up to a year, in which young people will be encouraged to serve “in an area linked to defence and security” – but again, they could opt to carry out volunteer work linked to heritage, the environment or social care.

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