Fighting unemployment and the fear of losing jobs to other EU countries are two of young EU citizens’ chief concerns as European youth takes centre stage during European Youth Week.
The three highest priority areas that young EU citizens want the EU to tackle are, in order, fighting unemployment (52%), fighting poverty and social exclusion (45%) plus maintaining peace and security in Europe (30%), says a Eurobarometer on young EU citizens and their expectations for the EU.
As many as 68% of young Europeans in the new member states want the fight against unemployment to be the EU’s top priority.
Fears of jobs being transferred to other member states
Two thirds (68%) of all young Europeans fear the transfer of jobs to other member states, as compared to 72% of all EU citizens. The concern is more widespread among young Europeans living in the 15 ‘old’ member states than among those living in the 10 ‘new’ member states.
Skills needed to find a job
Education (54%), professional experience (42%) and language skills (30%) were the three most frequently chosen assets that young citizens said needed emphasis to find a job today. They were asked to choose two from a list of six. The other three assets were computer skills, ability to adapt and willingness to work abroad.
Active citizenship through participation
The survey says that young Europeans are less likely to be interested in and to feel well informed about politics and current affairs than their older counterparts. It also says that, in terms of participation, the last 2004 European elections were “disappointing” with only one third of people aged 18 to 24 taking part (compared to 45.6% on average).