Generation Europe leaves Brits out

BBC News Online, Monday 26 March 2001, 15:43 GMT 16:43 UK

An increasingly European identity is emerging among the young people of Europe, but the Brits remain determined to be British.

A new survey of 21- to 35-year-olds from France, Germany, Italy and the UK by Mori for Time magazine, shows one third of young people see themselves as Europeans first and foremost.

But in the UK 75% of young people said they were Brits before they were Europeans. In line with this, they also expressed the most concern about the EU gaining increasing powers.

Three out of five of the young people questioned across all four countries said they thought national governments should have more power than the European Union.

However, they expected the EU to gain more and more power in the next 10 years.

Top issues

The environment emerged as the top concern for more than half the young Europeans questioned.

In Britain however, more than half were most concerned about education, and in France and Italy almost a third put immigration high on their list.

There was clear support for further research into genetic engineering—with two to one in favour—but they were less decided on globalisation.

Only one quarter actively oppose genetic engineering, while around three in 10 support it and the rest are undecided.


In some ways, young people have shown themselves to be quite traditional as 90% say they expect to stay faithful to their partners.

And this is certainly not yet the internet generation—only 3% said they used the internet to get information with most relying on TV and newspapers.

James Geary of Time magazine said the survey, shows a distinctly European identity emerging... based on shared European values that enhance but do not replace national and regional cultures.