Few questions are more important for the future of the European Union than this: what do young Europeans want it to be and do? Join Ana Martins and Lucas Tse for conversations with a number of young Europeans at Oxford University who have worked to answer that crucial question. Each episode dives into a theme that has emerged from the voices of this generation: free movement, climate change, social Europe, democracy, and Europe in the world.
Brought to you by the Dahrendorf Programme at the European Studies Centre, St Antony’s College, University of Oxford.
Edited by Billy Craigan.
6. Europe in the World
Tuesday 12 October 2021
Ana and Lucas speak with Marianna Lovato and Olivier de France, the team’s experts on foreign policy and international politics. Our polls found that most Europeans want stronger European cooperation—but foreign policy does not rank hi ghly among their priorities, even if they place significant emphasis on Europe as a community of values. Is the EU an anti-geopolitical actor? Should it be a superpower, and if so, which kind? What are the new stories we need to connect the politics of European security with the concerns of Europeans today?
Today, we talk with Sophie Vériter and Josef Lolacher about the core of the European project—democracy. How solid is this core? We talk about democratic backsliding, the perceived inefficiency of consensual regimes, and Europe in a changing world of populist and authoritarian tendencies. What can and should the EU do to defend this community of values? How much do most of us really understand about what the EU has achieved and the tools currently at its disposal?
Ana and Lucas speak today with our team’s specialists on the things that bring quality of life to Europeans — jobs, industry and the welfare state. Coming from North Macedonia, Kristijan Fidanovski has a keen interest in the intersection between social policy and EU enlargement, whereas Guillaume Paugam joins us immediately after a stint at the European Commission. Our polls found that 71% of Europeans believe the state should give all citizens a basic income. Which institutions should be responsible for social policy? Should we consider a European welfare state to be an oxymoron? For young Europeans, how do social agendas sit next to the urgency of climate action?
Ana and Lucas speak today with Victoria Honsel and Reja Wyss, who co-wrote the report chapter on climate action. Both have also been young Europeans actively involved in politics. Our polls found that 58% of Europeans want the EU to be carbon neutral by 2030, with an additional 20% aiming for 2040. What measures are acceptable for managing this transition—for example, should short haul flights be banned? How do democratic regimes fare in comparison with authoritarian governments in tackling climate change? Is there a ‘Generation Greta’ that cares more about climate than older Europeans?
Ana and Lucas speak today with Luisa Melloh, who manages the project behind this series. Many things flow across borders - capital, goods, ideas - but young Europeans also assume that they themselves can move freely and with ease. One of our polls found that nearly three-quarters of Europeans agree that the EU would not be worth having without freedom of movement. At the same time, Europeans do not all benefit from this freedom in the same way. Why has free movement emerged as such a formative experience? Is its formative impact unique to this generation?
Today, Ana and Lucas speak with Dan Snow and Maeve Moynihan about who young Europeans are. This generation is not used to thinking of Europe as divided by war or wall, but it is living through a pandemic, and its shared experiences will determine the future of the European project. What makes them different from other generations? Will they make up a Generation C(ovid)? How much do they trust the EU on what matters most?