Eurobarometer Survey Shows Young People’s Active Participation in Civic and Democratic Life Ahead of the European Elections

15 May 2024

Photo credit: Callum Shaw - Unsplash

In the context of the upcoming European elections on 6-9 June 2024 and as a follow-up to the European Year of Youth 2022, the European Commission has conducted a Eurobarometer survey on Youth and Democracy targeting young people aged 15-30. It reveals that 64% of young people intend to vote in the European elections. However, while 38% of them think voting is the most effective action to make their voice heard, some 19% say they are not interested in politics and 13% are not interested in voting.

The results show that many young people are active and engaged: 64% said that they have participated in the activities of one or more organisations in the past 12 months. In addition, 48% reported that they had taken action to change society through signing a petition, participating in a rally, or sending a letter to a politician. In particular, young people were active on topics relating to human rights (34%), climate change and environment (33%), health and wellbeing (29%) and equal rights regardless of gender, race or sexuality (29%).

Young people feel that the education system has prepared them well for some of the challenges that they face. For example, 73% said their education has equipped them with the necessary digital skills to identify disinformation. 72% said their education has taught them to take care of the environment.

Finally, the survey shows that young people continue to have a European outlook. More than 43% have participated in an activity in another EU country. Typical examples of this include studying or training (16%), volunteering (12%) or working (12%). Nearly half of the surveyed young people (49%) say that they are aware of the funding opportunities offered by Erasmus+, the EU programme for education, training, youth, and sport. In addition, 67% of young people believe that the EU has an impact, at least to some extent, on their daily life, while 26% say it does not and 7% don’t know.

The Eurobarometer survey ‘Youth and Democracy’ was carried out between 3 April and 12 April 2024, targeting a representative sample of 26,189 young people aged 15 to 30 in the 27 Member States.

The results will further inform the work done by the European Commission as outlined in the Commission’s Communication on the legacy of the European Year of Youth. The Commission has appointed an EU Youth Coordinator and is setting up a youth check in the EU policymaking process. In the context of the European Youth Week in April 2024, both Vice President Margaritis Schinas and Commissioner Iliana Ivanova hosted youth policy dialogues.

Participation in democratic life, common European values and civic engagement lie at the very heart of the Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps programmes.



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