1.9 Current debates and reforms
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Forthcoming policy developments
The Universal National Service (SNU)
The Universal National Service (SNU) is aimed at all young French men and women aged between 15 and 17. The content of the cohesion stay and the mission of general interest aim to enable young participants to acquire a set of knowledge and skills, both practical and behavioural, around three major issues
- Strengthening the resilience of the nation
- Developing social cohesion
- Promoting a culture of commitment
It includes a cohesion stay, during which the young people are accommodated collectively for a fortnight and take part in introductions to first aid, citizenship, the highway code, physical and cohesion activities, discoveries of the local cultural heritage, etc., followed by a mission of general interest, during which the young people are responsible for providing assistance to a host structure (retirement home, association, uniformed corps, etc.) for a fortnight. Each young person can then pursue a period of commitment, from 3 months to 1 year, on a voluntary basis, between the ages of 16 and 25.
The Universal National Service was developed in 2022 with three sessions and 32,200 people welcomed in the centres. In 2023, it will continue to grow, with a view to its probable generalisation to all young people in a given age group in the years to come.
As part of the reflection on the SNU scheme, presidential announcements are expected. A generalisation of the scheme is in fact underway (see Chapter 2: volunteering).