Christian Democratic Union’s Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, a possible successor to Angela Merkel, has been advocating bringing back compulsory military draft or community service.
"If refugees complete this year [of community service], either voluntary or compulsory, this will help their integration in the country and society. This would also help the population come to terms with the fact that refugees live among us," she said in an interview with a German publisher, Funke Mediengruppe.
Community service, often in medical care, is a civilian alternative.
But the CDU secretary-general said the feedback she received from the base during a "listening tour" of the country suggested that voters were warming up to this initiative as a way to remind the Germans about their obligations to the state and boost the sense of unity.