Reasons why young people disconnect from political life.

According to a 2007 survey, only 5% of European young people participate in some kind of political action. This figure is a discrepancy and becomes contradictory considering the percentage of respondents who stated that they were interested in their country’s public and political decisions reaches 82% (Eurobarometer).

Even if 2007 seems a long way off, we know that, after years of the pandemic, which inevitably led to large ‘’chunks’’ of social and productive forces being isolated, nowadays, these percentages are expected to be even more eliminated. But why do young people, while expressing a willingness to take initiative and have the power to influence their future, ultimately decide not to do so?

The first and overriding reason is the acknowledged rejection that young people feel from people in positions of power. The youth are frustrated and feel that politicians make decisions that affect them without taking them into account, turning the political scene into a one-way power relationship, where the weak side feels unable to change anything. Thus, political space is inevitably reduced to a barren landscape, with no apparent reason for existence.

The second reason, and the one that the UcomE project aims at, is the complete lack of education and knowledge regarding political actions. Civic education is often found at the core of the compulsory education program but does not receive the acquired attention. In conclusion, once they leave school, young people do not feel capable of approaching the field of politics and don’t have the tools to quench their thirst for political action, nor what benefits they can derive from such an experience.

Undeniably, participation in public life teaches young people to take on civic responsibilities from an early age. It also offers a plethora of psychological advantages, such as the cultivation of leadership skills and work experience, which is key for anyone trying to enter the workforce, as well as develop social skills. Young people have the innate need to support their communities and to do so they have to learn how.