The EP and the expectations of European citizens 


European youth in 2016 

This Eurobarometer survey, dedicated to European youth, was conducted among 10 294 young Europeans aged 16-30 in the 28 Member States between 9 and 25 April 2016.

It is published on the eve of the 2016 European Youth Event (EYE2016) organized by the European Parliament on 20-21 May 2016 in Strasbourg. 7 000 participants, aged 16-30, will reflect upon, debate and propose new ideas about the state of the world, the future of Europe and democracy, youth and employment, the digital revolution, sustainable development and European values.

An impression of exclusion, due to the crisis

  • More than half of young people in Europe have the impression that, in their country, the young have been marginalised and excluded from economic and social life by the crisis (57%).
  • An absolute majority of respondents feel excluded in 20 countries, though there are wide national differences and divergences of up to 66 points. Unsurprisingly, the rates are very high in the countries worst affected by the crisis, and where there is high youth unemployment.
  • However, the results of another question show that, in Europe as a whole, few young people really feel compelled to leave their country because of the crisis (15%). While this figure seems low, the national results are very disparate, and as a result the great majority (80%) of these 15% feel that they have been left out of economic and social life in their own country.

A national education system well adapted to the world of work in 19 Member States

  • At the European level, an absolute majority of young people (59%) say that their national education system is well adapted to the current world of work. These respondents are particularly likely to be people in countries where the young feel least left out of economic life on account of the crisis. However, in 9 countries there is a majority for a negative answer to this question.

Young Europeans are disinclined to travel to study or find work

  • A large majority of young Europeans (61%) do not want to study, undergo training or work in another EU country, while 32% would like to do so.
  • The survey results also show that they travel little for the purpose of education or employment. Across the EU as a whole, 88% of young people aged 16 at 30 years have never travelled to another EU country to study or work.

The importance of learning about the EU and voting in European elections

  • 90% of respondents say that it is important for young European to learn about the EU and how its institutions work.
  • For more than half (51%), voting in European elections is the best way of participating effectively in public life in the EU.

A significant proportion of young people say online social networks represent progress for democracy

  • Very active on the Internet and in online social networks, a majority of young Europeans believe that online social networks represent “progress for democracy, because they allow everyone to take part in public debate” (46%).
  • For 27% of respondents, online social networks represent “a risk for democracy, because of the inappropriate use that may be made of personal data”.
  • 16% of respondents spontaneously say that online social networks represent a risk and progress equally.

The significant involvement of young people in sustainable development

  • Very large numbers of young Europeans have adopted daily practices to protect the environment and combat climate change, starting with systematic sorting of waste (63%), reducing consumption of disposable items (47%) and reducing water and energy consumption at home (46%).