The youth’s opinion about the European Union

, by JEF-Latvia

The youth's opinion about the European Union
Credits: JEF-Latvia

The campaign “EU-vote!” is made by the Latvian youth organisation “Club “The House” - youth for United Europe” as part of the JEF Europe project “Co-operation You(th) Vote - enabling future active European citizens” (COYV) which the European Union finances.

Follow us on our journey onJEF Latvia and “Club “The House”” Instagram, as well as “Club “The House”” TikTok account.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.

Thus, all member countries have seen mixed opinions on the European Union – ever since Latvia joined the EU in 2004, citizens have had mixed thoughts on its effect on their future. We believe that this very future is youth! And so we asked ourselves a question - what is the opinion of Latvian youth on the EU, anyway? The answer was clear - we had to ask the youth themselves. This article informs you about the overall results from the event “Quick Date with Europe” with the youth of Latvia.

The interviews

The campaign “EU-vote!” team gathered information on adolescent opinions about the EU on the following topics:

  • Freedom, justice and security;
  • Economic and social cohesion;
  • Environment and energy.

Freedom, justice and security

Youngsters who participated in this event said their safety and security are impacted by corruption in all government sectors, including the EU, from not having economic well-being and from the poor state administration, which also affects the country’s justice systems effectiveness. However, in foreign affairs, they are worried about the war in Ukraine and how the EP responds to Russian aggression.

In Latvia’s justice and freedom sector, one of the essential youth topics was the justice system, which isn’t as influenced by corruption and equal rights for minorities. However, they think the primary goal of the EP should be to achieve social equality for all EU citizens. Regarding EU democracy, they mentioned they could participate in all government, local and EP elections and have freedom of speech, and have the freedom to travel anywhere in Europe.

Economic and social cohesion

In the economic sector, the priority is to achieve economic equality for all EU citizens and support their financial stability. However, to reach that goal, improving the justice system and increasing collaboration between EU states is necessary. Moreover, they are glad the EU shortens their economic ties with Russia.

Environment and Energy

The energy aspect references the economic element mentioned before – they are glad the EU shortened their economic ties with Russia, which includes the EU not getting cheap gas from Russia and searching for other energy sources. However, many things must be done to improve the EU’s effectiveness in green politics, significantly increasing the production of green energy and replacing fossil fuels with it. They also stated that in some countries like Latvia, there is a lack of communication between the government and citizens about the EU green policy.

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