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Although Spanish youth distrust the institutional functioning of the EU, they do feel part of the European project.

  • 78% of young people in Spain think that the European Union should have more sovereignty in decision-making according to a study by the Spanish Youth Council.
  • Less than 50% of young people in Spain trust European institutions.
  • 9 out of 10 young people in Spain feel part of the citizenship of the European Union.
  • The Spanish presidency of the Council of the European Union is seen by young people as a unique opportunity to build a common future.

Madrid, June 6, 2023 -. The Spanish Youth Council (CJE) has presented the study "Towards an EU for Spanish youth" at the European Parliament office in collaboration with Sigma 2. The report presented together with personalities, MEPs and social agents of the third sector reflects an x-ray of the general feeling and degree of confidence of young people in Spain regarding the institutions of the European Union on the occasion of the Spanish presidency of the Council of the EU.

In order to know the opinions and attitudes of Spanish youth about the European Union and the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Spanish Youth Council has carried out both a quantitative and a qualitative analysis.

Spanish youth show a lower degree of trust in European institutions than the rest of Europe. When asked whether they tend to trust or distrust the European Parliament, 48% of Spanish youth say they tend to trust, compared to 55% of young people in the European Union. A similar situation occurs when asked about the European Commission (49% vs. 51%), the European Central Bank (44% vs. 48%) or the European Council (44% vs. 49%).

Lower trust, but a high degree of identification. Given this lower trust in the different European institutions, it would be expected that young Spaniards would have a greater distrust in the EU than the European average. Paradoxically, it is the other way around. When asked questions such as the degree of confidence in the EU, the opinion about whether their country would be better off outside the Union or about the direction the European Union is taking, Spanish youth have a more positive opinion than the European youth.

Thus, we can see that while 79% of young Europeans feel that they are citizens of the European Union, in Spain the percentage rises to 92%. There is also a higher proportion of Spanish youth who feel linked to the European Union, who feel optimistic about the future of the EU and who believe that more decisions should be taken at the European level.

In the words of Andrea González Henry, president of the Spanish Youth Council: "Now that the Spanish presidency of the Council of the EU has lost its electioneering tinge, we urge political representatives to commit themselves during this mandate to put young people at the center of the political agenda, to bring European institutions closer to young people and to maintain an open dialogue to listen to our demands and claims".

For more information:   

Antonio Martínez Blanco 

Communication Technician   

626 37 11 27 -amartinez@cje.org  

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