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!

Image Credits: Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) Franciscio Morais


27 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    George

    Corrupt politicians, foreign/US interference, political charades in which Merkel/Germany is instrumental (like Navalny, who drank WMD and got a hangover), aiming to restart a new cold war, to save USAn economy collapse.

  2. avatar
    Alessandro

    Economy, environment, and a non-interventionist foreign policy.

  3. avatar
    EU Reform Proactive

    To talk week-in, week-out about “democracy” (namely the EU type of “suzerain democracy”), to appoint agents, journalist & institutions who make some (limited) surveys, produce info graphs, etc. is all good & well, but that is not necessarily democratic nor a prerequisite for a democratic system many voters wish for.

    We are constantly hearing many requests- which are constantly ignored- about “direct democracy” or as close as possible- which the EU Suzerain dismisses as unsuitable for its “superior EU democratic and bureaucratic” system.

    The closest is the “European citizens’ initiative.” Full of rules, conditions & limitations- endless!

    https://www.europarl.europa.eu/factsheets/en/sheet/149/european-citizens-initiative

    Q: Why not allow all 27 Members to hold these referenda (“EU initiatives) in their own jurisdictions & without EU limitations? Oh, that’s transgressing EU treaties once more. Damn it, one has few choices. One can’t win against EU democracy- can one?

    Cynically, many “oppressive” regimes use the word “democratic” liberally to pretend that a “one-party (communist/militant) system” is or can be as “democratic” as a “one suzerain pro EU only, indirect parliamentary system” is or can be.

    Isn’t the economic success of nations & the happiness of their voters the best indication of any considerate democratic system? Enough holy pretenses!
    When the European Citizens’ initiative is too much democracy for the EU Suzerain- how democratic is the EU concept really?

    Isn’t it better to drop all these high flying democratic pretenses? Enough democracy! Rather concentrate all valuable resources & efforts on the economy -as we were originally made to believe.

    In the end, economic prosperity is the best judge- besides “god’s grace”.

  4. avatar
    Róbert

    Fighting collectivism and statism. State interventionism and state capitalism. Promoting individualism, personal responsibility and empathy on a personal level, not on a collective or societal level.

  5. avatar
    catherine benning

    What’s the most important political issue for you?

    To immediately take on board the Swiss system of ‘Direct Democracy.’ All other pretences at Democracy are fake.

    Ban ‘Political Correctness’ and return to common sense open discussion and expectation. End Globalism.

    • avatar
      maskedman

      @Catherine Benning,

      the political crisis in Bulgaria. Nobody paid any attention, but yet people look at the protests in Belarus and in Russia.

      We use to have more investments in all sectors, before the corrupt government of Boyko Borisov came into power.

      We use to have Globul (Greek) telecommunications company and Telenor(Norwegian) A1 (Austrian) and Vivacom (Bulgarian) we could have had four mobile operators and four energy electric companies like

      CEZ (Czech), E.ON (German), EVN (Austrian) and Energo-Pro (Czech) and many more investments could have came to Bulgaria.

      Why is Europe turning a blind eye to our protests???

  6. avatar
    catherine benning

    @ Maskedman

    Bulgaria crisis. What your people must do, if they want to see change to the situation they have politically, is first, find out who is really at the back of the mess you are in. Who is benefitting from the stalemate you say is there? There is always a group creaming off the top of discontent otherwise it would not continue as it is.

    The culprits may well not be Bulgarian. Try to follow the money. That always is at the centre of political difficulties, it is a power base to enable. Once you clearly have the hidden movers and shakers, who hide in the shadows faceless, expose them with undeniable evidence.

    Another method is, find out why people within your society are not replacing the companies you say have disappeared from view, thereby leaving you without the necessary productivity to move forward. You cannot expect others to run with ‘your needs’ in their forefront. The people suffering have to be willing to make changes for their own well being. Raise the call to get rid of stultifiers by exposing their motives and how they keep it going for themselves. Again, there has to be a benefactor. Someone is running a group of duplicitous receivers. Who is that and why?

    And, yes, I know it’s easier said than done. Especially when you fear threats. You have to accept human nature, no one is going to fight your corner for you. You have to raise an interesting offer of serious financial potential if you want to create change. Remaining stagnant will leave you with just that, stagnation. Start by reading up on how to. And grow a pair. Only men can do this. Which is why the need for them. And the need to be rid of them.

    • avatar
      maskedman

      @Catherine Benning,

      The people are just tired since the current government is insolent and they do not want to leave despite the protests and the current situation. We could have had investments in the banking sector like the French giant Societe Generale Express Bank which left Bulgaria and we could have had the Russian Sberbank.

      Basically the Mafia became a part of the government and they are running the country. The mafia infiltrates every government here in Bulgaria, but the people do not want to fight the mafia like they did in Italy, by using the army or directly attacking the buildings of the mob. We also had a popular chain of supermarkets like Picadilly (Serbian), Carrefour(French) and Penny which was (German).

      Yes there is a stagnation in Bulgaria. We also had the the bookshops Public (Greek) and the high-tech market for computers and gadgets Multi-Rama (Greek). However we need to be united like the Greeks when we protest and be form and together.

      This needs to reach out Europeans, because there a chance this year the elections to be rigged and corrupted.

  7. avatar
    maskedman

    @catherine benning,

    I do not know about the Romanians or the Greeks, but the normal Bulgarian is always abused from the government or cheated. The Bulgarian is always injured or most of the time unfortunate due to the current circumstances. Maybe we are like the Albanians. We have been mistreated not only from others, but also from ourselves.

    This is so sad and annoying to be honest, but our fate is very painful. We had 3 national catastrophes due to bad decisions and irrationality. The Bulgar was harmed many times in his history. Sadly these are the facts.

  8. avatar
    Margarita Tzoka

    In my opinion the political issue that is nowadays concerning EU the most is the descent of the economy during the pandemic, because lots of businesses had to close to follow the protection measures and maintain health. This lead to loss of many jobs which means the EU was not funded properly.

  9. avatar
    DIMITRA-MARIA

    In my opinion the most important political issue now it’s the problem with our neighbors, the Turks, who, as time goes on, cause us in various areas.

  10. avatar
    Stergios Stamatiou

    Στεργιος Σταματιου:I strongly believe that the most important political issue is the economic problem with all of this situation (covid-19). Moreover, i think that goverment doesnt care so much for the laws in the streets…..

  11. avatar
    Chris Tir

    I personally think that there are several political issues, but at the moment i think the more important is the economy. It is corrupted and it gets worse and worse because of the pandemic.

  12. avatar
    konstantinos fragkos

    I believe that the european union cares about human rights and this can be seen from the attitude it has towards all the countries that belong to it

  13. avatar
    pappas marios

    In my opinion, the most important issue now is the problem with the neighboring countries, Turkey, which are challenging us in various areas.

  14. avatar
    Despina

    One of the most important political issues, in my opinion, is the economy due to the pandemic we experience nowadays.

  15. avatar
    evaggelia sereti

    I think that nowadays,with the conditions we live in,with the pandemic,with the quarantine,the most important political issue is the education.We have to take our classes from a computer and as a result many students do not participate and do not learn anything and so their grades getting worse and worse,but also the general average of European students

  16. avatar
    Despina Sarli

    One of the most important political issues, in my opinion, is the economy due to the pandemic we experience nowadays.

  17. avatar
    Sotiria

    I think the most important political issue for me is that we have economic problems in our country and also we have problems with our neighboring country Turkey.

  18. avatar
    Dimitra

    I believe that the most important political issue is the measures which the government puts in place for the coronavirus and the efforts they make to get rid of this problem quickly. 

  19. avatar
    Christina Mylonopoulou

    Of course this is not the only political issue that matters to me, however, in my opinion, one of the most important political issues is the injustice we face every day. The corruption in our system is infinite. What is worse is that we have normalised this condition and it is only up to us to change it. Moreover, the discrimination individuals encounter, whether it is about their skin, their gender, their sexual preferences, their body, their ethinicity etc not only stems from fellow citizens but also people in high places such as politicians, police force and others. In conclusion, it is urgent the European Union acts and so do we in order to bring change.

  20. avatar
    George Economou

    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.

  21. avatar
    Aimilia mpampi

    I think that the most important issue that plagues the European Union is tackling unemployment and immigrants

  22. avatar
    Крис

    Poverty and economic inequality are the hottest topics nobody talks about. Every other hot topic including the ones you mentioned come from these two problems. Right-wingers, liberals and modern-day leftists do everything to distract people from the problem with poverty worldwide.

  23. avatar
    Rick

    Immigration is slowly destroying what means to be European, with it, it destroys European culture and values. Liberalism has gone too far and social collapse will come, as it did in the US. People will demand more and more rights, even though they are self-destructing and decadent. Ther eis already too much rights and too little responsibilities. Nobody will try to fix their problems, eveyone will just ‘accept them’, and even worse, be proud of them. This is not the way, this is not the way of building prosperity and lasting peace.

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