- The majority of young Europeans believe that the Ukraine war is a ‘watershed’ event
- 16 to 26 year-olds see climate crisis as a bigger threat than the Ukraine war and the COVID-19 pandemic, and the fight against climate change as the key to future freedom
- The climate and the economy are still the two most important EU issues for young people
- The mood among young Europeans is getting darker
Young people in Europe feel more threatened by climate change than the Ukraine war or the COVID-19 pandemic. They also put the environment and climate protection at the top of the list of most urgent problems facing the EU together with migration and asylum policy (30 percent each), followed by foreign and defence policy (24 percent). These are some of the key results of the TUI Foundation’s sixth representative ‘Young Europe’ study, which were presented today in Berlin. They were obtained in a YouGov market research agency survey of more than 6,000 people between the ages of 16 and 26 in Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, Greece and Poland.
“The TUI Foundation's youth study shows how young Europeans, between drastic experiences of crisis – war, climate change, Corona – rely on pragmatism and a willingness to compromise to tackle the challenges of our time. 71 percent of them agree with the statement that compromises are needed to achieve success in climate protection. They seem to be very aware of the conflicting goals in climate and energy issues that result from political decisions. At the same time, 66 percent of those surveyed see measures against climate change as securing future freedom. There is also great realism with regard to the war in Ukraine. More than 60 percent of the respondents perceive the war as a turning point. In order to stop war crimes and human rights violations in another country, higher costs for petrol, food or energy naturally find less approval among young Europeans than political decisions such as supplying weapons or economic sanctions. It is a pragmatic approach to the challenges ahead. The study results show a generation that is realistic in its analysis as well as constructive and pragmatic when it comes to the question of how to shape the future,” said Thomas Ellerbeck, Chairman of the TUI Foundation.
The majority of young Europeans believe that the Ukraine war is a ‘watershed’ event. 26 percent of respondents ‘strongly agreed’ with this statement and 40 percent ‘agreed to some extent’. Young people in Greece, in particular, feel that the war is a fundamental event that is changing the world order. 43 percent ‘strongly’ agree that the war is a watershed event and 38 percent agree ‘to some extent’. The results for Germany are very close to the Europe-wide results: 28 percent of respondents ‘strongly agree’ and 39 percent ‘agree to some extent’.