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Macron to reinstitute mandatory national service in France

Macron to reinstitute mandatory national service in France
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French President Emmanuel Macron is launching a plan to bring back compulsory national service for all 16-year-olds.

The purpose of the program — the universal national service — is to "encourage the participation and commitment of every young person in the life of the nation, to value citizenship and the feeling of belonging to a community gathered around its values, to strengthen social cohesion and boost the republican melting pot," according to a statement released by the Elysee Palace and reported by CNN

The program will have two parts. The first phase, which lasts about a month, is intended to help 16-year-olds "develop a culture of commitment to strengthen their place and role in society," according to CNN. 

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The second phase would encourage teenagers to volunteer for at least three months or up to a year of service in an area linked to defense and security, the network reported.

If they choose not to do that, they could volunteer in areas related to preserving national heritage or the environment, or tutoring, according to CNN.

Macron first broached the idea of reinstating the national service during his presidential campaign. The country previously required mandatory military service, but that ended in 1997.