Published: 24 April 2014 at 11:04
Anglia Ruskin academic leads project to gauge young people’s views on Europe
A new survey published today [Friday, 25 April] shows that young people in the UK are finding it difficult to connect with the European Union, although the majority (72%) see themselves as European citizens.
The project, which aims to capture a snapshot on what UK youth think and feel about the EU and how it impacts on their daily lives, has been led by Anglia Ruskin University and the Euclid Network.
The survey discovered that 81% of young people feel disengaged because they don’t know enough about the EU, how it works and above all how it affects their everyday lives.
Only 7% admit that they know ‘a lot’ about the EU and just 12% feel that the EU impacts on their lives ‘very much’. A third of the respondents (34%) say they know the difference between the European Parliament, European Commission, European Council and the European Union.
The majority of respondents (82%) think that politics is not covered enough in the British school curriculum and 88% believe that young people in the UK should be taught about European politics.
The survey also revealed that the majority of young people access and hear about the EU through the media, but only 42% are aware that the next European Parliament Election is taking place this year.
The key themes of what young people believe the EU should address focused on securing peace in the Ukraine and Syria, youth unemployment, economic problems and human rights-based issues, including people trafficking. They also mentioned the need to address immigration, climate change and global warming.
Dr Darren Sharpe of Anglia Ruskin University, one of the report’s authors, said: