France

Why young French people don’t care about the European elections

Fewer than one in four young French are planning to vote in this year's European elections which are set to take place on May 26th. So, why aren't they bothered?

Too complicated, too far away, too un-involving, too boring: French youth are turning their backs on Europe. An Ifop survey on young people in France and the European Union, published in April, reveals that, out of 100 registered young people, 77 will not vote in the European elections.

So what has caused this rift?

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Photo: AFP

History

French young people see the European Union mainly as a historical subject that they studied in school. Europe appears to them as complicated rather than democratic.

Not glamorous enough

Young people think of travel and they think of America and Australia, Europe just doesnt seem exotic enough. In an attempt to counter this apathy, the EU has invested €16 million this year in a discovery travel programme: Discover EU.

Only young people aged 18 are eligible. They must travel to their European destination by train, all for a maximum of €260. Thirty thousand young people have already taken advantage of this offer launched in 2018.

Urban-rural divide

Young peoples attitudes to Europe depend on where they live in France. Someone from a big city is much more likely to have opportunities to experience other European cultures through academic exchange programmes such as Erasmus.

If your father is a farmer and you want to take over the farm, your only direct link with Europe will be the CAP, the Common Agricultural Policy.

Pessimistic future

According to an Read More – Source

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