http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/ECid/wel/template-2012/images/logo/logo_en.gifYoung people's disengagement from political participation has long been a cause for concern. Little interest in and knowledge of political processes, low levels of trust in politicians and growing cynicism towards democratic institutions are often seen as indicators of young people's political apathy. Yet, as a new report prepared by Eurydice researchers shows, it is misleading to think that young people are not interested in politics. In fact, young people generally engage and communicate on political issues even more actively than older adults. They just use different channels.
Young people vote less than older generations. According to the European Social Survey, in 2010, 61 % of young respondents aged 22-29 stated that they voted in the last national elections, as opposed to the 78.1 % of over 30-year-olds. Yet, as Eurobarometer surveys reveal, even though they vote less than older adults, young people do believe – more than older generations – that voting is an effective way of influencing decision-making (at local, national or European levels). This fact, as elaborated in a Youth Report on political participation reveals an interesting paradox between young people’s beliefs and their behaviour: young people do not always participate in the very activities that they believe to be effective. More...