Young Europeans are eager to get involved in shaping the Future of Europe and their message is clear: although many (79%) are in favour of the EU, things need to change. Since the launch of the #STANDFORSOMETHING campaign in May 2021, Youth Activists have organised over 100 separate activities in 16 European countries. The insights gathered during grassroots activities were matched with the findings of a survey which collected 3000 responses from young Europeans.
THREE PRIORITIES FROM YOUNG EUROPEANS STAND OUT FOR THE FUTURE OF EUROPE:
9 out of 10 of young Europeans believe that the EU should have a stronger involvement in mental healthcare systems in order to ensure a better access for all people. Too many Europeans, young and older, do not have the necessary professional support to tackle their personal problems. This might have a serious effect on their psychological wellbeing.
Young people should be able to discuss their mental health in safe spaces. An overhaul of Europe’s education system is needed to ensure mental health awareness from a young age. Better knowledge and familiarity with these sensitive topics will lead to a more inclusive and caring society.
A topic of deep concern to young Europeans is gender equality, freedom in self-determination and expression, as well as the discussion on gender rights and diversity. The EU should act to end discrimination and ensure the right to self-determination.
Young people are realising that nonconformity, incidentally, is becoming a norm. Bullying and discrimination, whether by individuals or systems, should be stopped. The EU has a moral and legal obligation to protect this right.
The EU should introduce a legal framework to better educate citizens about their consumption habits, according to 7 out of 10 young Europeans. This would include making available to citizens the necessary tools, infrastructure and information to limit unnecessary consumption.
Waste is an increasingly growing problem that young people within and beyond Europe’s borders will have to deal with in the future. Education on this matter should start from young age, but older generations also need to be part of the solution.
#STANDFORSOMETHING is a European-wide youth outreach campaign organised by the European Youth Card Association (EYCA) for the Conference on the Future of Europe.
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