Spanish youth want to talk to politicians and help build their future

by Lorraine Williamson
Spanish youths - "The Future is Now!"

MADRID – 89% of young people in Spain would be willing to restrict their freedom of movement because of Covid-19. This is according to the survey of Spanish youth, ‘The Future is Now’. The results of the survey were handed to the President of the Spanish Congress of Deputies, Meritxell Batet, on Wednesday.  

Young people in Spain want to be heard by politicians and to help shape the future. The survey not only lists the main concerns of the Spanish youth, but also 40 demands for the future. Everything is grouped by theme to be communicated to Spain’s political representatives. 

The survey was conducted in the second quarter of 2021 from all over Spain. Therefore, the views of young people living in 51 large, medium and small municipalities in all 17 of Spain’s autonomous communities are included. As a result, this is an overview.

Politics, inclusion and gender inequality 

87% of young people do not feel represented by any political party, 51% feel more integrated within social networks than outside them. Furthermore, 93% believe the general approach of the current public education system should be improved and adapted to future needs. Therefore, they suggest allocating a larger budget to education. Also, introducing sex education programmes in schools and improving the conditions for internships in companies and organisations.  

92% say they are concerned about social problems, especially gender inequality between men, women, trans-, non-binary, androgynous and gender fluid people. 53% are willing to commit themselves to contributing to the social change Spain needs.  

Young people also call for a ‘ban’ on political formations that propagate hatred, for the creation of stable spaces for intergenerational dialogue that take into account the concerns and needs of young people, and for prioritising the fight against corruption.  

Employment and housing 

93% of respondents say that job offers for young people between 18 and 25 is very low and one in three cites housing as one of their main concerns. Among other things, young people are calling for an end to the insecurity of temporary contracts, and an early retirement age to encourage generational replacement. They also want subsidies for companies to hire young people without experience and regulation of rents.       

Villa Nova Spain

On social justice, they propose ending the gender pay gap and ‘banning’ violent and hateful language, both on social media and in the parliamentary sphere.   

Environment and public health 

On the environment, they advocate penalising the most polluting companies, including environmental impact in the labelling of consumer products and promoting the circular economy.  

In terms of public health in the face of the pandemic, there is agreement that the Covid-19 vaccination process should be accelerated and that public mental health services should be expanded so that all young people have access to quality care.  

The Spanish youth surveyed show concern for the pandemic and the health crisis. As such, 89% would be willing to restrict their movement. And almost half (43%) believe the government should force the population to be vaccinated.  

Refugee policy 

At European level, they call for the implementation of a new immigration and refugee policy that puts human rights first. And also for the strengthening of a common European education system allowing for the rapid validation of vocational training diplomas.   

Discontent 

Young people need decent living conditions and want to be heard by politicians. There is now a generation in Spain that does not look to the future with hope. They know that life will not be as comfortable as previous generations. 

The results show young Spaniards are affected by insecurity and material instability. But also by dissatisfaction with a world where adults are central and they are not taken into account. Therefore, they want to take the reins, raise their voices and actively participate in building tomorrow. They clearly see that if they do not build their future, others will do it for them.  

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