It was one of the most controversial proposals in the campaign that led to the Elysee in May 2017, and one of the most criticized and ridiculed. Then it was half parked. Neither was a priority nor was it clear how to apply it. President Emmanuel Macron recovered yesterday the idea of a universal national service, a kind of brief civic-military service for young French people. “It will end up being done,” he promised. The universal national service is not exactly the obligatory mili as it was understood until President Jacques Chirac abolished it in 1997. The Macron project contemplates a month of service for men and women from 18 to 21 years old.
The objective, according to Macron’s program for last May’s elections, was to offer young people “a civic experience of military life, social mix and cohesion”. It had to serve so that young people “receive an elementary military training: discipline and authority, knowledge of the strategic priorities of the country and of the great problems of security, physical and sports activities”.