IRSOP poll: Half of Romanian youth considers the pandemic will affect their plans for the future
How the future is seen by youngsters?
Half of the generation aged 18 to 19 (around 1.3 million people) believes that the pandemic will affect their plans for the future, reads the latest IRSOP poll conducted on 712 youngsters aged from 18 to 29 during June 22-30, 2020. The sample is representative for Romania’s entire young population of 2.6 million.
The disruption of the aspirations at large cohorts of youngsters stepping in life is a dramatic episode of any society, say the authors of the study.
Almost two thirds (60%) are convinced that the Coronavirus pandemic will leave deep scars, while life will never be the same. Social psychologists explain that the major events that youngsters are going through when they grow up (roughly at the age of 18 to 24) define their values and attitudes for the rest of their life. If they feel abandoned now they will be distrustful in people and institutions all their life. Only 55% are optimistic on their personal chances in the future, while the rest have mixed feelings, so they are insecure.
For the time being, health (46%) and jobs (32%), including their professional training represent their biggest anxieties. The fear to get sick is disappearing over the time, while concerns related to jobs and profession will rank first.What they think about the country?
Skepticism is the watchword among the Romanian youth. Two thirds (65%) have low trust in the current politicians, while 70% think that life in Romania will be the same or worst in ten years from now. The long history of failures is always the most important source of mistrust in the future, the authors of the poll argue.
The poll also shows that young people don’t feel alienated from the country where they live, but only 8% say they are “very patriotic”.
At present, corruption (30%), healthcare (27%) and eliminating poverty (19%) are the main national urgent matters in the young respondents’ view. This topics will probably influence the youngsters’ turnout and their political option at the upcoming elections.How they see the world
The future of the world is screened against the background of the European project, in the Romanian youngsters’ opinion. Over 80% of them want that their own children to live in a Romania that is member of the European Union, which means that, for the youth in Romania, the European idea is not just a immediate pragmatic target, but also a hope for the future.
If they have to choose between two societies, one dominated by the state and the other one that focuses on the private initiative and freedom, most of the Romanian youngsters would choose the individual freedom, meaning that, from the political philosophy perspective, youngsters tend more to rally to the Liberal ideas than to the Social Democrat or Socialist ones. The authors of the poll say that this means that earning the youngsters confidence remains a major challenge for the Romanian state.
Asked about the dangers threatening the world, the youth in Romania sees two categories of big risks: life threatening risks (such as epidemics and climate change – 40%) and risks against the standard of living (the economic crisis and poverty – 38%). Their vision about risks will probably enable an important openness of the youngsters towards cooperation and altruism.