EU elections: Many young people are pro-European

EU elections: Many young people are pro-European

Around five million young people in Germany will be able to vote in the European elections for the first time. What do young people think of the EU and which issues are particularly important to them?

According to a survey, the majority of young people in Germany – and in Europe as a whole – have a positive attitude towards the European Union. At the same time, however, only 59 percent of 16- to 25-year-olds surveyed across the EU and only 57 percent in Germany said they wanted to vote in the European Parliament elections on June 9.

This is the result of the representative survey “eupinions”, the results of which were presented by the Bertelsmann Foundation. For the survey, 13,241 people between the ages of 16 and 69 were questioned in all EU countries in mid-March. A comparison of age groups showed that among 26- to 69-year-olds, the number of those who want to vote was higher than among young respondents up to the age of 25, at 65 percent across the EU and 62 percent across Germany.

In Germany, 1,837 people took part in “eupinions”. Here, 67 percent of 16- to 25-year-olds nationwide said that they were satisfied “with the way democracy works in the European Union”. A look at the topics showed that a particularly large number of young people (59 percent) in this country believe that securing peace is an important task for the EU in the future. Those aged 25 and under said significantly more often than the older group that the EU should concentrate on protecting civil rights (50 percent) and combating climate change (42 percent) in the coming years.

According to the foundation, the study also found that “young people are fundamentally more pro-European.” In the hypothetical case that there were a referendum on Germany remaining in the EU, more than three quarters of young people (78 percent) across Germany would vote to remain – in the older group, however, only two thirds of those surveyed said the same. In Germany, too, 16 and 17 year olds are allowed to take part in the EU election for the first time. In total, there are around five million first-time voters nationwide.

Source: Stern

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