issue 4, year 2

Where are we so far

First results from WP4 & WP7

The Brexit has been decided and is currently negotiated, the consequences of the financial crisis have not yet surpassed, and the handling of refugees and persistently high youth unemployment in some member states require the unity of the European Union more than ever. However, the EU is in a crisis and has lost some of its good reputation (cp. Blue paper by Lalli & Macek, 2016).

But what about the young EU citizens?

The CATCH EyoU project started out to assess attitudes and perceptions on the EU, Europe and politics and to go over and beyond some already existing data sets. As the young people who participated in these surveys are those who will live in Europe and shape Europe’s future, first results from our and other existing data sets are presented in the following to provide an idea of the views of this young generation.

Work Package 4 set out to reanalyze existing data sets (cp. Blue Paper by Serek, Noack & Jugert, 2017) and even though the data sets vary based on number of assessed countries, time of assessment(s), characteristics of the sample and assessed variables some conclusions can be drawn.

To sum up, it could be shown that if the SES is lower then

Young people have a lower political activity
They show lower voting participation
They have lower engagement in organizations and groups
They discuss about European topics not so frequently
They have fewer contact to other European people
They have lower identification with Europe and trust in EU institutions

With increasing age, young people have a tendency

To have lower trust in EU institutions
They show lower agreement towards a European Union
They show more conventional forms of participation such as voting
Their participation in international projects is lower

But what about the CATCH EyoU data from wave one which was collected between October 2016 and March 2017?

As part of the CATCH EyoU Work Package 7, a first wave of questionnaire assessments directly addressing our research questions took place between October 2016 and March 2017. A total of 10.122 young people from Greece, Sweden, Italy, Portugal, Czech Republic, Great Britain, Estonia and Germany participated in these assessments. The young people were between 14 and 30 years of age (M = 19.63; SD = 3.48), 59.7% of them were female and 40.3% were male.

When analyzing the responses, we found that higher SES (i.e., fathers’ educational attainment) is associated with

Higher political interest
More friends in other European countries
A higher likelihood of voting in the next European elections
A higher likelihood of engagement in various associations such as trade unions.

With increasing age, young people have

A higher identification with Europe
Stronger political interest
Higher rates of social and political participation
A higher likelihood to have more friends in other European countries
A higher likelihood of voting in the next European elections
A lower likelihood of engagement in various organizations.

Our first analyses provide interesting insights into the young generation of European citizens. Not surprisingly, some findings correspond to what has been found in already existing data sets, but there are also some differences. In a next step, the present findings will be examined more closely and, more importantly, analyses will address aspects which influence the observed associations and shed light on differences and similarities between countries. So, stay tuned to our upcoming publications and the second wave of data assessment.

CATCH-EyoU has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement n. 649538