People aged less than 39 years-old were those who contributed to the surge in participation in the European elections. But this good news comes along with a surge in euroscepticism.
According to a new Eurobarometer survey conducted on the last European elections, the significant increase in citizens’ turnout was based on waking up the youngest voters.
They have made a significant contribution to increasing participation rates. At 50.6%, it was not great, but much better than usual.
The under 25 (+14 points) and the 25-39 (+12 points) were significantly more motivated to vote than before. “People, especially the younger generation, value their democratic rights and believe that the European Union is stronger when acting in unison to address their concerns,” commented David Sassoli (S&D, IT) , president of the newly elected Parliament.
Among the drivers identified in the youth vote, economic issues and climate played a major role.
This is particularly true for France, where 46% of voters indicated that the fight against climate change was one of the reasons they cast a ballot, significantly more than the rest of Europeans, who were 37% to mention the subject. The fight against youth unemployment and terrorism is also one of the concerns of French voters.
While the commentary accompanying the EP survey is optimistic, the figures themselves show that euroscepticism continues to be very present, particularly in the East but also in France, where questions about adherence to European issues are answered with great hesitation.
As an example, belonging to the EU is a good thing for only 52% of the French, compared to 59% of Europeans and 79% of Germans. Similarly, 39% of Germans say they voted for European elections because they are in favour of the European Union, compared to only 22% of French voters.