The European Union in the lives of young people:
- The EU is a good thing, but with many caveats
- The EU is an economic union that provides material benefits
- European shared values—the big hurdle
- Small countries need the EU
- The future of the EU is uncertain
- Brussels is too distant and bureaucratic
- The EU is not visible nor explained enough
- EU citizenship: from not existing to primary identifier
- Active EU engagement means voting in EP elections
- East-West divisions still shaping some EU attitudes
- Member States’ and citizens’ obligations?
Those are the key findings from the focus groups that were conducted in November 2018 in Bulgaria, Germany, Poland and Slovakia in partnership with the Slavyani Foundation, Das Progressive Zentrum and the Higher School for International Relations and Communication.” In each country, partner organisations conducted 2 focus groups in different locations with about 10 participants, on average, who are university students (predominantly 18-30 years old).
These key findings were compiled as a part of the project “EP elections and beyond: active participation of citizens at all EU levels”. EUact is a EUROPE FOR CITIZENS PROGRAMME Civil Society Project that aims to encourage sustained and active civic engagement of young people at the EU level.
The full report (to be published in May 2019) will provide an insight into the perceptions of young people related to their attitudes towards the European Union, their understanding of EU citizenship and activism. As potential new leaders, it is important to “feel the pulse” of the thoughts of today’s youth on belonging (or not) to the European community. Such data is a valuable tool to help predicting voting choices in the upcoming European Parliament (EP) elections as well as to provide a basis for a possible trending line of European integration developments in the future. Stay tuned for the full report.
The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.