In the debate about compulsory social service, Thuringia’s Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow (left) drew parallels with compulsory schooling. “Instead of just reflexively just picking on the Federal President and talking about new coercion and simply ignoring compulsory schooling, I advocate looking at the topic with a little more composure,” said Federal Council President Ramelow of the German Press Agency. Compulsory schooling is also a compulsion and the state intervenes in the lives of young people. He wondered why one could not “define” another year.

At the weekend, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier initiated a debate about compulsory social service. Greens and FDP in the federal government had reacted negatively to the proposal. The head of the left-wing parliamentary group, Dietmar Bartsch, also positioned himself against a social obligation.

Ramelow had repeatedly spoken out in favor of a mandatory period for young adults in the past. In his opinion, this could mean a period of between nine and twelve months for everyone between the ages of 18 and 25. “It can be social, it can be ecological, it can be military,” he said.

It is important that it is not a lost year – but can be recognized, for example, in an apprenticeship. In the interview with the “Bild am Sonntag”, Steinmeier spoke generally of a mandatory time, not explicitly for young people.