A society year is understood as a service “that enables all young people to get involved temporarily and specifically for our country and for our society,” says the application, which was submitted, among others, by the deputy federal chairmen Carsten Linnemann and Silvia Breher as well as Junge- Union boss Tilman Kuban had initiated. However, this initially left open whether it should be a compulsory or voluntary service.

The justification states: “Many people only move in digital and social echo chambers. Such a development is poison for our free and democratic society.” In addition, a society year promotes personality development and makes the state more resilient.

Where the young people can complete the service should be as flexible as possible, “be it in social institutions, in hospitals, in the Bundeswehr, in civil defense with the THW or the fire brigade, through recognized aid organizations abroad or in sports and culture or with nature and environmental protection associations”. The service should be remunerated with an “attractive service fee”.

The application stipulates that the year of service should be completed “usually immediately after leaving school”, a corresponding legal obligation should come into force upon reaching the age of 18, although it should also be possible to complete it earlier.

The advocates of the voluntary variant argued that compulsory service does not correspond to the CDU’s liberal image of man and is harmful to the labor market. In addition, there are not enough staff for this. The supporters of a duty explained that this strengthens social cohesion and is also reasonable because peace and freedom are increasingly endangered from within and from without.