The rich material gathered in the surveys conducted for the Millennial Dialogue project serves as an inspiration for this paper, which is drafted in order to sum up the initial findings alongside with identifying the queries that will guide the further debate. It is structured along 10 initial reflections that emerge from the research, which are matched with subsequently formulated 10 core questions for the progressives to answer. Together they are the cornerstones that are to serve as a blueprint for the country-specific summaries, helping to organise and focus the debate.
Amy McDonald, one of the iconic singers of the Millennial Generation, sang that you don’t know a thing about the youth of today, stating your opinion, making it ring in my head all day… Would that indeed be the case?
For over a decade now, after each and every election an old and somewhat worn-out story is being repeated. It features disenchanted, depressed and disengaged young people, who have turned their back to the political system. They ignore political appeals, they distance themselves from the campaigns and they fail to appear at the ballot boxes. Their absence within the framework of institutionalised political conversation makes them a target of political prejudice. Paradoxically, the more they abstain and the less they express, the more vigorously they are beleaguered with speeches, which are build on claim to describing who they are. From “Generation X” to “Generation Z” – all the labels contain perhaps a grain, but only a grain of the truth. What is missing among serious journalistic diagnoses, robust sociological research papers and political speeches is the voice of the youth itself. And this is what FEPS together with partners wanted to change – by launching in 2014 an initiative called “Millennials Generation Dialogue”.