European Parliament 2009 elections: …is it a Young vote?

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Information about European Parliament 2009 elections: …is it a Young vote?
News & Politics

Published on October 8, 2009

Author: thinkyoung



Complete results report of Think Young Survey # 7: European Parliament 2009 elections: …is it a Young vote?

Survey # 7 – Are you going to vote? Survey # 7 European Parliament 2009 elections: …is it a Young vote? Main Results Report September 2008 0|Page

Survey # 7 – Are you going to vote? Aim of the study Out 7th survey was launched in occasion of the European Parliament elections, being the latters the latest chance to tell EU powers what young people expect for their generation; so, we simply asked ourselves what were young Europeans' aims, expectations and engagement in occasion of these elections. This survey aimed at answering to this main question, in order to gather materials to be communicated to the newly elected and give them some hints to work with for this first summer and fall of 2009. The survey Our survey was launched on June the 2nd and was closed on July 10th . The questionnaire was launched on line, placed on our web portal ( and spread via e-mail among our community. The sample The sample of respondents is composed by around 150 respondents, not equally distributed among men and women: in fact, for the first time since the beginning of our think tank surveying activity, men represented the majority of respondents, with a percentage of 62%; moreover, they mainly declared to come from 20 over 27 EU countries reached by our e-mail sending (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Netherland, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, , Slovenia, Spain). 1|Page

Survey # 7 – Are you going to vote? Another important observation is that most of the sample (83%) declared to have a high level of education, having reached at least a bachelor, and the same percentage declare to know who is Mr. Barroso; hence, half of respondents sent us back their answers within one week from the launch of the survey, so that we can affirm that highly educated European young people seem to be interested to the topic, or, at least, they seem to be actively involved in expressing their opinion related to the topic, independently from their specific interest or opinion. Age distribution is reported by the graph below, showing the usual concentration between 22 and 30 years old, again consolidating during the subministration of our surveys, being individuals of these ages the main target of our Think Tank. Figure 1: age distribution of the sample; years 2|Page

Survey # 7 – Are you going to vote? Main results of the Survey 1. Vote and information Among our sample, a major percentage of 77%, actually not being such a surprising one, declares to be planning to vote or having voted for the European Parliament Elections; the rest of the sample has been asked why about the negative response and, as the graph below shows, the reasons reported seem to be very interesting for our investigation. Figure 2: reasons for not planning to vote/ not having voted In fact, the low level of information is a motivation for only one quarter of the respondents, whilst not feeling the relevance of the vote from a personal point of view or not giving importance to European topics is a valid reason only for 12% of the sample. The majority, represented by over 60%, declares to have other motivations, among which logistic difficulty are the most cited (living abroad, travelling for working reasons, missed any deadline for having the right to vote abroad). Though the last data seem to be encouraging in an ideal path towards a more conscious European population with regards to vote and participation to European policy, the level of promotion and information about the EU Parliament elections is not felt as sufficient by the majority of the sample. In fact, around 59% of respondents think that in their country EU 3|Page

Survey # 7 – Are you going to vote? elections have not been promoted in the right way: this figure, anyway, can be interpreted also as a sign of a more demanding/ exigent population in terms of information and communication from the EU Institution about EU policy making. This interpretation of data can be mirrored by some of the suggestions that respondents have sent to newly elected Parliament members, as explained in the conclusion paragraph of this report. 2. Young people and the content of EU Parliament work: past and future The second part of our survey aimed at investigating opinions about the content of EU Parliament policy making, and its reflection over young people lives. In fact, only 11% of the sample declared that that EU Parliament job hasn’t affected their lives in the past few years, so that we could affirm that young people actually feel the image of the Parliament as a working institution, at least over important topics for their personal lives. Figure 3: level of reflection of EU Parliament work over respondents’ lives 4|Page

Survey # 7 – Are you going to vote? This last good result, anyway, has to be analyzed looking at how the non “Not at all” part of the sample is composed: in fact, 52% declared that EU Parliament work has affected their lives but just a little and, most important, not enough as expected: this is another sign of the fact that our sample seems to be conscious of the power owned by the Parliament and of the opportunity that it has to give solutions to people’s needs…and, therefore, what we see here, is again a demand of action and higher involvement of the members of the Parliament. Then, we investigated over specific topics of the past and future, dealing with the Parliament policy; with regards to the past work done by the Institution, the 4 freedoms (movement of persons, goods, capital, services), Euro as a single currency and the Roaming regulations are recognized as the thee most important successes of the last formation of the EU Parliament (with a percentage ranging from 24% to 35% of the sample). About the future members, Education seems to be the most requested argument to deal with in the next four years, according to our young respondents, with a percentage of more than 25%. Finally, when asked about a single, specific cause to be willing to support during the next cycle of the EU Parliament, the majority of the sample prefers a Common system of laws all over Europe, with a percentage of 33%, a topic that is followed only by Free wireless internet connection in all 27 countries and the approval of the European Constitution. 3. Suggestions and demands to newly elected EU Parliament members As a conclusion, we asked for some specific, textual suggestions directed to the newly elected, in order to directly give voice to Young European people, with the aim of actually bring these citations to some Parliament member within the next autumn, before the end of 2009. 5|Page

Survey # 7 – Are you going to vote? Here follows a list of a synthesis of the most interesting suggestions and opinions: again, young Europeans seem to agree in asking more reactivity, more communication and information, more action and more listening in order to see as fully accomplished the role given to the Parliament by the European Union:  More information and communication at a local level about the work of the EU Parliament and the powers owned by this Institution;  More responsibility to be taken by the members: higher presence at the sessions and higher effort to be involved in the works;  Cutting costs of the Institution as a whole, in general enhancing efficiency and efficacy of the sessions;  More intense interaction with local populations, in order to give a solution to true local needs;  Thinking and Working as a more European Institution, in the sense of being united in the setting of goals and in the definition of the path to reach them;  Building a common future for Europe, on the basis of a common history and united roots. 6|Page

Survey # 7 – Are you going to vote? The survey 1. Do you plan to vote or did you vote at the European Parliament elections of this year?  Yes  No 2. If no, why?  I am not very much informed about it  I don't think my vote is relevant for my life  I don’t care about European topics  other reasons If other, specify 3. Do you think that in your Country the EU Parliament elections have been promoted and communicated to voters in the right way and with enough strength?  Yes  No  I don’t know 4. How much do you think that the work done by the current EU Parliament has affected your life?  Not at all  Just a little, but not enough  Enough  Very much 5. Would you tell us three successes taken by the EU in the last few years that you think has been mostly important for you?  The 4 freedoms (movement of persons, goods, capital and services)  Phone roaming regulations 7|Page

Survey # 7 – Are you going to vote?  Data retention directive among anti-terror strategies  EU enlargement to 27 countries  Peace in Europe  Euro as a single currency  Other 6. Which are the 3 most important topics you would like the Parliament to deal with in the next 4 years?  Education  Security  Migration  Energy  Consumer protection  Mobility  Environment  Agriculture  Economy  Enterprises  Job and social securities  Equal opportunities  Enlargement  Other 7. And, of the same list, which are the least important 3? 8. Choose, among the following, one cause you would like to support in the next future:  One deeper common system of laws all over Europe  Israel as a member of the European Union  Turkey as a member of the European Union  Approval of the European Constitution  Free wireless connection all over Europe  Abolition of physical session and trip to Strasbourg  Other 8|Page

Survey # 7 – Are you going to vote? 9. Do you know who is Mr. Barroso?  Yes  No 10. If you could tell something to the next Members of the EU Parliament, what would that be?  Open answer 9|Page

Survey # 7 – Are you going to vote? Contacts For receiving more information about this Survey and about Think Young researches and activities, please, contact us at: Think Young – the Think tank made in EUth 10 | P a g e

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