It’s not as if Europe didn’t have enough problems before the pandemic hit. The economy was only just recovering from the eurozone debt crisis which began in 2009, and now lockdowns have delivered yet another economic shock. For years, the gap between rich and poor has been growing within Europe and around the world. The effects of climate change can already be seen in extreme weather events, and threaten the future of people and the planet. Democracy is also under attack in many countries – not least because of extremist and anti-democratic conspiracy theories. So, there are plenty of political issues to choose from. Which one are you most concerned about?
What do our readers think? To set the scene, we spoke to Petros Fassoulas. He is the General Secretary of the European Movement International, the largest pan-European network of pro-European organizations. In 2019, the EMI ran the “Listen to Europe” project, surveying opinions and attitudes on the most important issues of our time from people in 13 European countries. So, what are the most important political issues for Europeans? What did the project discover?
You can read more about Listen to Europe’s finding on attitudes towards democracy here.
Next up, we had a comment sent in from Julie, who thinks that, in contrast to older Europeans, young people are “fed up with working for very low salaries despite their high education and with the climate crisis endangering their future.”
In other words, Julie suggests there might be a growing generational divide between the political priorities of Europeans. Is she right?
What’s the most important political issue for you? What is it that worries Europeans the most? And do younger people have different political concerns than older generations? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!