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Παρασκευή, 5 Μαΐου 2017

Πλειοψηφία ευρωσκεπτικιστικού ορθολογισμού και ελπίδας: Επαναφορά της εθνικής κυριαρχίας επιζητούν οι νέοι Έλληνες

For three out of four young Europeans, the core of the European Union (EU) is not its shared values, but rather economic cooperation. More than one in three want the EU to return political power to national governments. One in every five thinks that their country should leave the EU. And only half of young Europeans regard democracy as the best form of government.
These are among the findings of the European Youth Study, commissioned by Germany’s TUI Foundation, conducted by YouGov and launched in Berlin yesterday, Thursday 4 May. The survey, which polled 6,000 young people aged between 16 and 26 in seven EU countries – France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Spain and the UK – provides new insights into how the younger generation feels about Europe.

Economics, not culture
More than three quarters (76%) of respondents regard the EU as an economic alliance, and only 30% see it as an alliance of countries with common cultural values.
Only 18% of young Europeans attribute a common cultural basis to the EU, while only 7% mention the value ‘religion and Christian culture’.

Too much administration, too little participation
Young people find that the political possibilities for action at the European level are too vague. The EU is seen as being an administrative apparatus rather than as a community in which things can be shaped and changed.
More than a third (37%) of respondents criticise concrete policy objectives and plans of the EU; while over a quarter (27%) are disturbed by the basic organisation and operating method of the European institutions.

Views on democracy
Overall, only just over half (52%) of young Europeans regard democracy as the best form of government. Democracy convinces young people least of all in France (42%), Italy (45%) and Poland (42%). In all three countries, populist movements that are critical of democracy have grown up in recent years.
In Germany, approval of democracy as the best form of government is higher (62%), but top of the list is the ‘cradle of democracy’ Greece with 66%.

National sovereignty
Many young people are concerned about the influence that their governments hand over to the EU. More than a third (38%) want the EU to return power to national governments. This trend is particularly pronounced in Greece (60%) and the UK (44%).
In contrast, young Germans have more trust in the EU than respondents in the other countries: only 22% want the EU to return more power to national governments.

A cautiously positive outlook on the future
Young people have very different assessments of the current economic situation in the countries. While a total of 29% of young people assess their current financial situation as relatively good, 32% judge it as rather poor.
Young people in Spain, France and Greece are particularly negative, while the assessment from Germany, Poland and the UK is above average.
But young people’s expectations of a better future are quite modest: overall, only just over a quarter (26%) believe that their generation will achieve living standards above those of their parents. Over a half (52%) is not optimistic about this or expects a deterioration.

One in every five young Europeans advocates EU exit
In no country is there a majority among young Europeans in favour of leaving the EU. But one in every five (21%) advocates the withdrawal of their country.
Particularly critical are young people in Greece (31% for EU exit), with French and Polish young people more in the middle (20% for EU exit). The EU is rated most positively In Germany and Spain: only 12% of young people in these countries would vote against in a referendum on staying in the EU.

EU sceptics and EU supporters
The young people who are EU sceptics are (economically) more under pressure than EU supporters and are generally more pessimistic about the future. EU supporters look rather optimistic about the future (74%); with advocates of exit, the figure is only 66%.
The EU sceptics estimate their own economic situation worse than EU supporters, but the strongest EU sceptics are no worse off than the EU supporters, as their data on disposable income show.
Globalisation, digitisation and open borders in the EU are perceived as a threat in different ways by EU supporters and sceptics: 53% of EU supporters perceive globalisation as an opportunity, while for the sceptics it is 28%; and with open borders, it is 63% to 34%.

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