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French connections

National civic service: A crash course in self-defence, emergency responses and French values

Nearly two decades after phasing out mandatory military service for young men, the French government has tested a pilot civic service programme that will be compulsory by 2026. Some 2,000 volunteers from across the country got a crash course in self-defence, emergency responses and French values. The idea of the programme is to mix up the population, get people out of their comfort zone and promote national cohesion and patriotism. We take a closer look.

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