gallup-debating-europeAll this week, Debating Europe will be publishing a themed series of posts looking at the issue of youth unemployment in Europe. With young people the first to be fired and the last to be hired in a crisis, this is an issue that should be high up the political agenda. On Wednesday 15 May, Debating Europe held an event in partnership with Friends of Europe, bringing together high-ranking policy-makers in Brussels to ask how the EU can avoid a ‘Lost Generation‘. During the event, we published the results of research conducted on our behalf by Gallup.

Since the 1950s, there has been an expectation that the next generation will be better off than their parents’ generation. However, new Gallup research (online here) conducted for Debating Europe has found that the economic crisis has crushed this sense of progress. Europeans now expect the next generation to have less job security, less job satisfaction, less secure pensions, earn lower salaries, spend less time with their families and have less comfortable housing than their parents’ generation.

Gallup – Debating Europe Poll: Europeans expect a Bleak Future for their Young by debatingeurope on Scribd

As recently as 2011, when Gallup conducted research examining pessimism towards the future, while they were not expecting any rapid improvement, Europeans overall were confident in their countries’ economic stability in the near future. But Gallup’s latest findings show that this feeling of optimism has collapsed.

Not everything is doom and gloom in this year’s survey, though. Respondents also said they expected the next generation to live in a cleaner environment, have more time for leisure activities, live longer, healthier lives and – in a world increasingly connected through the internet and social networks – be much more likely to keep contact with their friends.

Of the six countries surveyed, Poland was the most optimistic, with only 28% of people responding they felt pessimistic about the future for the next generation. Italy and France were the most gloomy, with over 65% of people answering they were pessimistic.

The survey, conducted mostly over phone, in April and May by Gallup, surveyed national representative samples of 5500 people aged 15+ across 6 EU Member States (representing over 70% of the population of the European Union).

What do YOU think? Do you think Europe’s young generation will have less job security, less job satisfaction and earn lower salaries than their parents’ generation? Or are you still optimistic about the future? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policy-makers and experts for their reactions.

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – Leo Reynolds

26 comments Post a commentcomment

  1. avatar
    Gonçalo QuelhasLima

    No, I am not. Let’s hope that the continent that gave the world two world wars and the Holocaust doesn’t do it again… or shall I say the country that gave…?

  2. avatar

    The globalisation dividend was not shared with the workers. Time to get back to protectionism, kick out the overblown US lobbying in Brussels, stop migration and fight the Chinese in the battle over resources.

  3. avatar
    Henri van Soest

    Of course things aren’t looking good for the future, but it’s when you give up hope that things get really bad

  4. avatar
    Christos Mouzeviris

    trying hard!! but somehow optimism is worth more than gold these days… where can we find some?the fact that makes me more and more pessimist is our leadership.. I mean look at them!! depressing and not inspiring one bit!! we need a good political shake up in Europe!! that will teach them!

  5. avatar
    Nauthiz Fehu II

    where is the opportunities when in every european country the % of young unemployement its bigger than bigger?

  6. avatar
    Robert Diaz

    Less opportunities yet in other countries which are economically stable more opportunities. Education and being multilingual helps.Its the time of a lost Generation for Austerity does not work. The American model of work and life does burn out the soul of a person.

  7. avatar
    Mary Polydorou

    I was a president of JEF Cyprus for years and founding member of European Movement Cyprus. I was believing in Europe and its ideals. After what Europe decided( bail in ) by force overnight and presicely Troika,Eurogroup for my country which violates every human right, ideals etc, i must say that i do not see any job security for the young people. I can see the results of this decision now. The destruction of the whole economy and as a consequence, the uneployment level is rising dramatically by the day. Our economy has to restart and the future is uncertain so no, i am not optimistic for the future. As long as Europe believes in domination of the strongs and few rather than the cooperation,which was its initial dotrine, the eurosceptism will continue rising.

  8. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    The only hope for Europe is the young people to take their destiny in their hands. To put an end to the austerity, to cancel monetarism and to break “markets'” globalization.

  9. avatar
    European Federalist Party

    The young people of Europe have to have a Europe to live in. Providing opportunity to grow and work. Today’s Europe is insufficient. We need to change that.

  10. avatar
    Tony Westfallen

    I think this question has been asked, Just to upset the youth of Europe! Bloody insensitive…typically EU!

  11. avatar
    eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    As gerações futuras e os jovens da da Europa têm que estar preparados para uma nova Europa porque quando acabar este ciclo ficioso de austeridade a Europa irá aparecer mais moderna e com mais direitos porque esta crise esta a mundar as atitudes das pessoas eu estou otimista quanto ao futuro desta nova Europa agora é preciso tempo para vermos o filme dos nossos lider europeus

  12. avatar
    Pedro Celestino

    So Portugal, Finland, Ireland or Greece (just to name a few) arent on the poll, WHY?

    It is supposed to be a union but not even one of the troika countries is on it… Great kind of union when the ones how are down don’t even appear in the pools…

  13. avatar
    Eoin MacCárthaigh

    More hands on practical experience rather than academic thinking. I have a BA in History, Politics, Sociology and Social Studies an MA in European Integration Studies. I am also a trained secondary school teacher. I have applied for several internships in Brussels, I have not even got any responses to my applications. As regards pursuing a teaching career, I have made numerous applications to England (as many Irish people have) to be told that they are ?looking for teachers with a little bit more experience?. This recession is hammering the sweat out of University Graduates.
    Obviously times change, my parents experienced the recession of the 1970s and 1980s, yet people did not have the expectation that people in Ireland have today; EXPECTATION is a direct result of the boom timed in Ireland, the so called Celtic Tigre. Obviously people are paying for this today in terms of negative equity, unemployment, immigration and huge issues with personal debt.
    Taking into account the devaluation of money, it is more difficult today to buy good agricultural land compared to our parents? time and thus hindering the chances of young people of pursuing farming as a career.

  14. avatar

    People should have seen this coming. No financial-economic model based on the premise of perpetual growth through perpetual population increase can last forever. Economies cannot grow forever.

    What we need is massive protectionism to prevent greedy corpo-rats from shovelling our jobs to China whilst awarding themselves bonuses for it.

  15. avatar
    Limbidis Adrian

    What we need is some really rough taxes on these bastards who flee to slave states. You want to sell in the EU? You either HIRE HERE or PAY some profit-ruining tax. Your choice.
    Give up on a 500 mil market? I think most won’t.

    Who’s gonna buy?
    China’s slaves? Don’t make me laugh. WE and the US keep China and India “growing”, their whole economy depends on us, they sell to us. If we fall then so do they.

    But this is just a superficial solution. Why/
    Because eventually, the accumulation of WEALTH and POWER in the hands of these “rats” as Marcel said will make them OVERWRITE our policies and BUY our political system.
    What we really need is to dispense with these “capitalists” middle-men altogether.
    WE work, WE produce and WE consume. They are just LEECHES feeding off our work, yet they produce NOTHING.
    Think about it. Look at Mondragon Corporation in Spain. They have no “bosses”.

  16. avatar
    Julian Krause

    In my opinion the negative opinion of the people towards the EU is based principally on the lack of a clear understanding of what the European Union exactly is, and what are their Values.
    Decades of politicall correctness and well intentioned mentoring by an intellectual class – the intelligentsia – have created a rethoric on European values which is hardly understandable by anybody.
    In my humble opinion it is highest priority to agree on a charta of European values drafted by the people in people’s language and approved by the people. In order not to reinvent the wheel: from the size, text complexity, structure, and scope, the US constitution could give a good orientation.

  17. avatar

    Let’s just say that the Europeans are pessimistic by nature. They are more capable actually, more productive than the Chinese, more endurable than the Indians, more military-wise than the Americans. Problem is they are unwilling to engage in any serious hot-headed action. I hate to say this but sometimes I really wish there could be an EU Cheney or Putin whom can put shits to people’s mind to make them stronger, as in “ignorance is strength”. Damn the Europeans knew this trick.

  18. avatar
    Simpson Anchor

    It’s awesome too pay a visit this site and reading the views of
    all colleagues regarding this post, while I am also zealous of getting experience.

  19. avatar
    Fed up

    Of course we’re pessimistic. Years pass by and we achieve nothing. Politicians and baby boomers robbed us of our time and our future.

    If things every get back to normal, today’s millennials will be already old.

    Then they wonder why millennials don’t want kids!!

    Europe and its freedom of movement is a big lie! You can’t expect people to be fluent in many languages and hold many degrees.

    By setting absurd high standards, people get desperate.

    Europe should be grateful to America for helping them when Germany started two world wars and EU countries were destroyed, poor as hell.

    There has never and there will never be the European dream. It’s a nightmare.

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