23:56 GMT +319 July 2019
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    Migrants walk on a platform of the railway station in Passau, southern Germany, to a special train to bring them to Duesseldof, western Germany, on November 3, 2015

    German Lawmaker Proposes Community Service by Migrants to Help Their Integration

    © AFP 2019 / DPA / Angelika Warmuth
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - A year of community service by migrants and refugees in Germany may raise their acceptance by locals and help them integrate, the secretary-general of the ruling conservative party said.

    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.

    READ MORE: Berlin Agrees With Athens to Send Back Some Asylum Seekers — Ministry

    Germany dropped compulsory military conscription in 2011 in favor of a professional army, and there has been a mixed reaction to its possible return.

    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.

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    migrants, Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU), Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Angela Merkel, Germany
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