Geographies in Depth

What matters most to young Europeans?

Protesters attend a demonstration against the release on bail of five men known as the "Wolf Pack" cleared of gang rape of a teenager and convicted of a lesser crime of sexual abuse in Madrid, Spain, June 22, 2018. REUTERS/Susana Vera

Human rights and peace matter most to young Europeans. Image: REUTERS/Susana Vera

Sean Fleming
Senior Writer, Forum Agenda
Share:
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Geographies in Depth?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how European Union is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

European Union

Human rights and peace are the social issues that matter most to young Europeans.

That was one of the findings of a survey for German thinktank TUI Stiftung, which aimed to gauge young people’s attitudes to the European Union in 2018.

Pollster YouGov quizzed a total of 6,080 people aged 16-26 from seven EU countries – France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Spain and the UK – on a range of topics including which social values were most important to them.

Overall, human rights and peace mattered most, though there were exceptions. Young people in Spain and the UK considered tolerance more important than peace, while in Poland safety was the top priority.

Image: Statista

EU support rises among young people

The survey also revealed that support for the EU is rising among young people in all seven countries polled, compared to 2017 levels.

According to the report, hypothetically, if these countries were to hold national referendums about EU membership today, 71% of the respondents would vote to stay, up from only 61% in 2017.

Interestingly, the rise in “remainers” was smallest in the UK – which voted to leave the EU in 2016 – with an increase of just five percentage points.

Image: TUI Stiftung

The share of young people who describe themselves as Europeans as well as citizens of their country has also increased, from 45% in 2017 to 52% in 2018, the report says.

This trend was particularly pronounced in France, Italy, Spain and the UK.

Young Europeans’ views of the relationship between their country and the EU have changed, too. The report found that in 2018 35% believed their country and the EU needed each other equally, compared to 29% in 2017

Have you read?
Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Geographies in DepthYouth PerspectivesCivil Society
Share:
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

Asia-Pacific: How the region is prioritizing a green economy

Kanni Wignaraja and Debora Comini

June 10, 2024

About Us

Events

Media

Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum