Monday, July 15, 2024

Dispelling the Myth: Understanding the Complex Political Leanings of Young Europeans


The Young Rightward Shift: Another Political Myth

In recent times, discussions about the political inclinations of today’s youth have been rife with assertions and stereotypes. Terms like “moving to the right”, “going back to the 1950s”, and various other critical takes have flooded political discourse, painting a rather monochrome picture of the younger generation’s political leanings. Such commentary often seems detached from the actual concerns and realities of young Europeans, neglecting a more nuanced understanding of their true challenges.

The accusation of a widespread shift towards conservative or right-wing politics among the young in Europe invites a critical examination. Is this generation indeed veering to the right, or are these assertions a misinterpretation of their genuine concerns and aspirations?

Understanding the Real Concerns of Young Europeans

To grasp the political nuances among young Europeans, it’s crucial to delve into their primary concerns: economic insecurity; education and labour markets; and identity.

Economic Insecurity

For young Europeans, economic stability is a paramount concern. Having grown up amidst numerous unresolved crises, they face the daunting prospect of a future burdened by state debts and the relentless advancements in technology, threatening job security, especially for those with lower qualifications. Rural youths, in particular, face a stark choice between migration for better opportunities or accepting limited prospects at home. This grim economic reality fuels a deep concern over the possibility of owning property, a key marker of social stability and faith in both the market and democracy.

Education and the Labour Market

The pandemic underscored existing worries about education and employment among the youth. Lockdown measures disproportionately affected their educational and social experiences, leading to delayed workforce entry and precarious employment prospects. This disruption has cast a long shadow, blurring the future for many young people.


The challenge of forming a stable identity is magnified for this generation by significant cultural shifts, including changing gender norms and the ongoing struggle with mass migration and integration. These societal transformations have prompted some to seek solace in traditional values, not as a regressive step but as a means of navigating an increasingly complex world.

Intergenerational Equity

The demographic evolution poses serious questions about fair burden-sharing across generations. Political decisions often appear to favour the status quo, neglecting the younger generation’s rightful place at the decision-making table and perpetuating unequal prospects.

It’s worth noting that despite these pressing issues, concerns like climate change and the environment remain priorities for the younger generation. They are politically engaged, discerning, and far from the one-dimensional characters some critiques suggest.


Labeling the modern youth’s call for addressing these multifaceted issues as “conservative”, “right”, or even “extremist” misses the point. These challenges demand bold actions, not oversimplifications or political pigeonholing. Should mainstream political entities fail to offer viable solutions, they risk ceding ground to fringe elements on both the left and the right.

In taking a closer look at the motivations and concerns of Europe’s youth, it becomes clear that the purported rightward shift is more myth than reality. Instead, we’re witnessing a generation pragmatically confronting their unique challenges—seeking meaningful changes rather than ideological shifts. Acknowledging and addressing these concerns is crucial, for it is the youth who will shape the future. Their demands are not a deviation to the right but a call for recognition and action on issues that affect their lives and futures directly.

Alexandra Bennett
Alexandra Bennett
Alexandra Bennett is a seasoned business journalist with over a decade of experience covering the global economy, finance, and corporate strategies. With a Bachelor's degree in Economics and a Master's in Business Journalism from Columbia University, Alexandra has built a reputation for her insightful analysis and ability to break down complex economic trends into understandable narratives. Prior to joining our team, she worked for major financial publications in New York and London. Alexandra specializes in mergers and acquisitions, market trends, and economic

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