On the 27th of March, JEF Finland published a study about the opinions and attitudes of the Finnish youth towards the European Union. The study was commissioned by JEF Finland and produced by Taloustutkimus Oy, an established Finnish research company. The results were distributed among the Finnish media outlets and have now caught on in numerous national and local media outlets and newspapers and created a nation-wide discussion and hype on the young people’s views on the European Union.
The study, focusing on opinions and attitudes of the Finnish youth as well as their identities in large, features very positive results for the European movement and towards the European Union.
When asked, as many as 81 % of the respondents, aged between 18 - 29, said that membership of the European Union was beneficial for Finland. A further 89 % of the respondents also said that they identified as a citizen of the EU. 89 % of the respondents also agreed with the statement "the European Union promotes peace", and 86 % with the statements that “the European Union promotes welfare and equality”. 68 % of the respondents also felt they had a lot in common with the rest of the European youth.
The area that Finnish youth believed EU cooperation was the most important and should be increased in was fighting the climate change, where 76 % of the respondents said they thought the EU should cooperate more. The second strongest area was development aid, where 56 % of the respondents said EU cooperation should be increased.
Finally, 93 % of the respondents believed that an open European community was better than isolationism and closing down, while 81 % said they felt like a membership in the EU increased their opportunities in the future.
Following the publication of the results numerous outlets including the Finnish national media and numerous other newspapers and national level tabloids reported the results of the study. The results generated a large national level hype and great deal of conversation in Twitter and social media, having been one of the hot topics on the week in conversation and the news, also making an appearance in three of the four most read Finnish news sites.
Another thing that came up among the results of the study was that the Finnish youth seems to support the center-right party National Coalition and the Green party the most. These parties tend to support EU openly and strongly, the Greens sometimes even described as a federalist party, and this was linked to the other results of the study.
1009 young people took part in this study and it was widely recognized in Finland. The study clearly strengthened the position of JEF Finland as the voice of young people in EU affairs in Finland, as well as solidifying its position as one of the most important experts in EU affairs in Finland.