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EACEA National Policies Platform


2. Voluntary Activities

2.10 Current debates and reforms

Last update: 15 March 2023

Forthcoming policy development


The policies currently being developed are designed to increase rates of youth community volunteering by developing programmes such as the civic service and the civic reserves.


Generalisation of the Universal National Service

The Universal National Service (SNU) scheme, which the President of the Republic wanted to make one of the priorities of the commitment policy, is being generalised.

The Universal National Service is aimed at all young French men and women aged between 15 and 17. The content of the cohesion stay and the general interest mission aim to help young participants acquire a set of knowledge and skills, both practical and behavioural, around three major challenges:

- Strengthening the resilience of the nation

- Developing social cohesion

- Promote a culture of commitment

The programme includes a two-week cohesion stay, during which young people are accommodated collectively and take part in first aid, citizenship, traffic regulations, physical and cohesion activities, discovery of the local cultural heritage, etc., followed by a two-week mission of general interest, during which the young people are tasked with providing assistance to a host structure (retirement home, association, uniformed corps, etc.). 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.


Continued development of civic service missions

Civic service is a voluntary service scheme that enables young people aged 16 to 25 (or even 30) to carry out missions of general interest for 6 to 12 months within associations.

In 2021, 145,000 young people carried out a civic service mission. In order to enable all young people who wish to do so to become involved, new missions are regularly created, particularly in response to the expectations expressed by young people, such as in the field of sustainable development.


The civic reserves

Established in 2017, the civic reserve allows public bodies and associations to propose missions of general interest. In the context of the health crisis, particularly the containment and decontamination, the missions of the civic reserve, which are accessible from an online platform, have diversified. New missions have been proposed, concerning actions to maintain links with vulnerable people, food aid, the production of protective masks, distance learning support and childcare.

The presence of conflicts in Europe has made this platform more dynamic: since February 2022, new solidarity missions have been proposed by the associations on the platform in order to provide support to refugees of Ukrainian origin in France.

Ongoing debates

There are no ongoing debates at the moment.