France reinstating mandatory national service, a quiet European trend
After most European countries abolished the draft between the 1990s and 2011, a number have reinstated mandatory national service. Most recently, France will require a mandatory month-long placement for all 16 year olds, which includes options for teaching, charity work, or more traditional security options with the police, army, or fire service. Beyond the mandatory month, French youth will have access to 3-12 months of additional placements across security, social care, civic engagement, and environmental projects. The program begins in 2019 and was reinstated to fight unemployment, disengagement, foster national cohesion, and reduce populism and radicalism. Sweden announced the reinstatement of the draft last year, citing concerns with Russia. Lithuania reinstated the draft in 2015 after Russia annexed Crimea.