Young people in Europe value democracy, doubt that their voices are represented in their countries and in the EU but carry a positive outlook for their European future, although with caveats.
These are some of the findings from conducting 13 focus groups with young people living in Austria, Greece, Ireland and Slovakia. The work is part of an ongoing GLOBSEC European project titled EUact2, in partnership with Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP), European Movement Ireland and Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe (IDM).
This publication provides insight into the perceptions of young people with respect to democracy, democratic forms of participation, citizen activism and the future of the EU. As they are potential new leaders who will contribute to crafting EU society in the future, it is important to glean the voices of young Europeans to evaluate current strategies and policies. It is also necessary to assess the need to enact changes and/or create new tools to more impactfully and consistently engage young people. Now less than a year away from the next European Parliament (EP) elections, gauging citizen attitudes can provide a foundation for understanding possible trends regarding European (dis)integration developments in the near future.