Universal national service: for whom and at what age, compulsory?

Universal national service for whom and at what age compulsory

The Universal National Service, which is aimed at young high school students, should be tested in several French departments before a potential generalization. How are the cohesion stays going?

Set up in 2019, the Universal National Service (UNS) was imagined by the government of Emmanuel Macron to involve more young people, aged 15 to 17, in the life of the Nation. At first, some cohesion stays are organized on a voluntary basis to raise awareness among young people on various topics related to citizenship. Afterwards, young people who are interested can make a mission of general interest (MIG). In 2022, the Universal national service mobilized 32,000 young volunteers. How is the SNU going? How long does it last for young volunteers? Do they get paid? Answers.

What age is Universal National Service for?

Currently, the SNU takes the form of a one-month civic service between 15 and 17 years old at the time of the cohesion stay, and of a longer commitment, on a voluntary basis between 16 and 25 years old.

What are the dates of cohesion stays in 2023?

In 2023, cohesion stays will take place on different dates corresponding to the school holiday zones:

  • 2nd stay all zones: from June 11 to 23, 2023
  • 3rd stay all zones: from July 4 to 16, 2023

So far, the cohesion stay, organized in a department other than his own, lasts 2 weeks with a well-defined program each day. The day begins with the raising of the French flag and the singing of the Marseillaise. Many ensued outdoor or indoor activities.

On the program: sports and physical and cultural activities, site visits, participatory projects, workshops and discussions, meetings with professionals. The objective is to discover many areas in order to make young people want to make things happen, in various fields (sustainable development, citizenship, defense and security, memory, culture and heritage). The cohesion stay ends with a closing ceremony, in the presence of the local authorities. The young volunteers are divided into households made up of a dozen people who are supervised by a tutor. They participate in community life, meals and household chores.

Is Universal National Service compulsory?

For the time being, universal national service is not compulsory in France. According opinion, Emmanuel Macron has decided not to make universal national service (UNS) mandatory for the time being. But this generalization desired by the Head of State is not definitively buried. Waiting for, “the cohesion stay (phase 1) and the performance of a mission of general interest (phase 2) are intended to become compulsory for an entire age group. But in the meantime, these first two phases are carried out on a voluntary basis“, specify the government website.

► The first phase lasting 12 days from 15 years old. This year, the SNU is offering three cohesion stays for 15-17 year olds which are particularly suitable for high school students in 2nd class which is not an exam class.

► Then, young people can achieve, in the following year, their mission of general interest (MIG) lasting 12 days or 84 hours with associations, local authorities, institutions or public bodies, or even with corps in uniform. It must fall under one of the following 9 themes: citizenship, culture, defense and memory, education, environment and sustainable development, health, security, solidarity and sport.

► The second phase, lasting 3 to 12 months, is linked to culture, solidarity, citizenship, education, health, sport, international action, defence, security, etc. A commitment that gives rise to financial compensation for the young person: easy access to permits, university credits, possible compensation, etc.

What is the duration of Universal National Service?

Until now, the civic service mission had to take place during at least 24 hours a week, which was difficult to reconcile with higher education. From now on, she will “calculated on average over all the months of mission carried out (what) will allow a modulation of the hours worked per week, according to the schedule of the young volunteer“.

Universal national service: what remuneration?

There increase in the Civic Service allowance of 108 euros, initially planned for scholarship holders in levels 5, 6 or 7, will be extended to all scholarship holders. This amount is in addition to 580 euros per month collected by the volunteers.

What do we learn during universal national service?

The Universal National Service is aimed at young people aged 15 to 17 at the time of the cohesion stay.

First phaseSecond phase (depending on the chosen service)
Perform first aid actionsTo be involved in the army, police, gendarmerie, fire brigade or civil security
To navigate with a compassTo engage in supporting people
To report a dangerous situation by radioTo engage in the preservation of heritage
Discover the different forms of commitmentTo engage in the protection of the environment
To participate in a collective project in connection with associations or communitiesTo engage in school tutoring

What are missions of general interest?

The mission of general interest (2nd phase) lasts at least 84 hours or 12 days in the year (outside school time). It allows young volunteers to engage and support a mission of general interest that is close to their heart among the following themes: environment and sustainable development, solidarity, sport, security, culture, health, education, defense and memory, and citizenship. On a one-off or regular basis, it is therefore possible to choose a structure to provide assistance, in particular from associations, approved social utility companies, or even public services and private health establishments. collective interests…