VIACOM GLOBAL CONSUMER INSIGHTS RELEASES STUDY OF YOUTH AND POLITICS AHEAD OF EUROPEAN ELECTIONS

Youth report mistrust, worry and frustration when it comes to politics, but remain hopeful for the future

09/05/2019

Key findings include:

  • The most important characteristics for a political party are honesty, commitment to improving people’s lives and having a clear purpose, according to young people.
  • Top priorities for young voters across Europe are the environment, the economic situation and immigration.
  • 60% of young people in Europe agree that the EU is vital for maintaining peace and good relations between all the countries of Europe.
  • 65% intend to vote in the next EU Parliament Elections.

MAY 9, 2019 – Today, Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN), a division of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), announced the results of the most recent study carried out by its Global Consumer Insights research team ahead of the upcoming European Union elections. The team surveyed 10,000 young people between 18-34 years of age across ten countries including Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the UK. The study demonstrates mixed feelings of political identity, attitudes towards politics and the European Union, as well as sentiments about Brexit. 

Overall, Europe is still a point of reference for the youth who live thereEven if young people declared that their identity is strongly connected with their country (72%), Europe remains an important institution:

  • 60% of young people in Europe agree that the EU is vital for maintaining peace and good relations between all the countries of Europe.  Agreement is highest in Germany (66%), Spain (63%) and Poland (62%).
  • Over half agree that belonging to the EU has been good for their country (highest in Poland at 69%, UK, Hungary and Spain all at 62%).
  • 51% of respondents agree that the EU is a positive cultural force while a similar proportion see it as a force for good in international politics (49%) and think that the European Parliament is a fair way to represent the interests of EU member states (48%). 
  • The EU is also seen as an opportunity for jobs and education (40%).

In an expression of this pro-Europe sentiment, most youth are planning to vote in the next European Elections:

  • 81% of young people are aware of the upcoming elections.
  • 92% have heard of the European Parliament and awareness is highest in Italy (98%) and lowest in the UK (85%).
  • Around two thirds of 18-34 year olds claim they understand the work of the European Parliament (66%); this is higher in Greece (79%), Poland (77%), Spain (74%), Italy (73%); lower in Germany (53%) and France (55%).
  • 65% indicated they intend to vote in the May elections (highest in Italy at 75%). 24% report being undecided (Highest in Hungary at 33%). 12% stated they will not vote (highest in France at 19% and Netherlands at 16%). The main reasons for not voting are not feeling represented by any candidate or political party (23%) or simple lack of interest (22%).

 Young people have a clear picture of the key topics they want the EU Parliament to set as priorities:

  • 52% Environment (highest in Denmark, France and Germany) and 50% the Economic Situation (highest in Italy, Poland, Spain), followed by Immigration (44%)Unemployment (42%) #1 in Greece, Health and Safety (40%) #1 in Hungary and National Security/Terrorism (40%) #1 in Netherlands. 
  • Civil rights including gender equality and LGBTQ rights were mentioned by nearly 30% (highest in Spain 43%).

Even If the European Union seems vital for their future, this does not mean that young people are satisfied about politics. Respondents indicated that the feelings they associate most with politics are:

  • ‘Mistrust’ 39% (highest in Greece at 48%), followed by ‘worry’ 29% (highest in Italy at 43% and Spain, 36%), ‘frustration’ 26% (highest in Greece at 39% and UK 36%) and ‘negativity’ 20%
  • However, there are also sentiments of hope for the future 18% overall (highest in Italy at 25%).
  • 31% of young people say they are engaged with political issues (highest in UK at 46% and Spain at 37%; lowest in Hungary at 16%).
  • The study also indicated the most important characteristic for a political party is honesty, ranked #1 across all regions with 67%, followed by commitment to improving people’s lives (53%), having a clear purpose (43%) and listening (42%) were also important. Young people stated they are looking for fresh perspectives (31%), empathy (29%) and courage (27%) from their party.

In the UK, youth express similar political sentiments despite a divisive Brexit

  • 97% of young people surveyed in the UK said they were aware that the UK will be leaving the EU and 74% of respondents who were eligible to vote at the time of the election said that they had voted in the referendum.
  • Given the chance to vote today for remaining in the EU or leaving it, 68% say they would vote for the UK to remain, while 26% said they would vote for the UK to leave.
  • The vast majority of young people in the UK agree that the Brexit process has been poorly handled (78%) and around two thirds (68%) say they have lost faith in politics because of the Brexit process.
  • 61% of young people in the UK think that leaving the EU will weaken the UK’s economy, while 54% think they will have fewer opportunities in the future as a result. However, 54% of young people in the UK think that leaving the EU will give the UK more control over immigration, while 39% think that there will be more jobs available for British people in the UK after Brexit.

For more information, visit insights.viacom.com.

Note to Editors:

  1. The team surveyed 10,000 young people between 18-34 years of age across ten countries including Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the UK. The study demonstrates mixed feelings of political identity, attitudes towards politics and the European Union, as well as sentiments about Brexit.   The survey was completed between 29 March – 12th April by Viacom Global Consumer Insights.

  2. Young people defined as aged between 18-34 at the time of the survey.

Contacts:
Claudia Loda
VP of Communications                                                                                  
VIMN SWEMEA                                                                                            
Claudia.Loda@vimn.com   

Ashley Priest
International Communications Director
VIMN
Ashley.Priest@viacom.com

About Viacom International Media Networks
Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN), a unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), is comprised of many of the world’s most popular multimedia entertainment brands, including MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET, Paramount Channel, Channel 5 in the UK, Telefe, VH1, VIVA, COLORS, Spike, Game One and Tr3s: MTV, Música y Más. Viacom brands reach more than 3.9 billion cumulative subscribers in 180+ countries and territories via more than 200 locally programmed and operated TV channels and more than 550 digital media and mobile TV properties, in 40 languages. Keep up with VIMN news by visiting the VIMN PR Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/VIMN_PR. For more information about Viacom and its businesses, visit www.viacom.com, blog.viacom.com and the Viacom Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/Viacom