France's Macron brings back national service

France to reinstitute national service for teenagers

France's Macron brings back national service

In 2009, Michael Caine, who served in the Korean War as a conscript, said bringing back national service would alleviate social problems by giving young people "a sense of belonging rather than a sense of violence".

But that plan was shelved partly due to concerns over the high cost and that it may overburden the French armed forces, BBC reported.

National Service in the United Kingdom was ended on December 31 1960, with the last people called up leaving military service in 1963. In particular, Teens will work with charitable organizations and will be the traditional training with the police, fire service or army.

However, the trade unions and workers denounce the real goal of those changes is to open the door to a future privatization of the SNCF, that until now was a public service model in France.

The aim of the service program 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 from the Elysee Palace. It was divided into two phases.

The government will consult with the youth, parents, teachers' unions and local governments in October before a final decision is made on how the mandatory phase of the program should work. Then a further two weeks will be spent in smaller, "personalized" groups. The work could be in fields as diverse as defense, the environment, heritage, or social care, Blanquer said.

"Under any amount of scrutiny [national service] appears for what it is: unpractical, socially destructive and costly", he writes, suggesting that the money would be better used funding a year of travel for school leavers.

According to reports, a government working group has estimated the scheme will cost 1.6 billion euros annually, with an initial investment of 1.7 billion euros.

India has never had mandatory military service, even during British rule.

Fourteen youth organisations have voiced unhappiness over the idea of being forced to take part in such a programme.The French Constitution bans the state from forcing an entire section of the population to spend time away from home, except for national defence.

Under the plan, French children will be required to sing "La Marseillaise" in public, know the origins of the three colors on the French flag, and understand the concepts of liberty, equality, and fraternity.

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