According to the youth, Estonia shall contribute more into sustaining clean environment, people’s well-being and granting safety and security, showed Estonian results of the EU Youth Dialogue. About 1600 young people from age 13 to 30 casted their opinion which provide valuable input for EU-level strategies as well as the “Estonia 2035” strategy and youth-related development plans. The dialogue was led in Estonia by the Ministry of Education and Research of Estonia and Estonian National Youth Council.
„Young people take more and more interest in their homestead’s whereabouts, but also of wider world. Their opinion must be taken into account, because they are most influenced by the today’s decisions,“ said Reelika Ojakivi, the Head of Youth Affairs Department of Estonia’s Ministry of Education and Research. “We are glad to see that different organizations take in to account and implement ideas and thoughts of young people as well as these results provide excellent input for a number of strategies and development plans,” Ojakivi added.
The results of dialogue demonstrate greatly young people’s opinions on EU related matters and processes going on in Estonia as well as results highlight areas that need more attention, said Aivar Kamal, the Project Manager of the Estonian National Youth Council. “Youth pointed out the protection of environment and climate change as priority topics which means that global challenges and campaigns affect our youth. Our young people are well aware of climate change and are willing to change their behavior more environmentally conscious,” Kamal said.
Young people see their future generally positive, more attention is needed for rural areas
34% of Estonia’s youth are excited about their future career while 26% are worries, show the results. 23% find themselves to be confident and believe that they will cope their future well.
Young people find that technological advancements provide better prospect in the labor marker as it makes working smarter and easier as well as creates better opportunities for all and brings world to home. Self-realization, flexibility and stability are one of the most important aspects of their future job.
Young people are satisfied with the E-Government and e-services, but they find that the overall user experience needs improvement. Although e-services make life more convenient, more knowledge about them must be provided in schools.
The dialogue also explored young people’s opinion on possibilities in their home area. While the sporting and other recreational possibilities were appreciated, the availability of services related to working and career planning received low approval. In general it can be said that young people for rural areas assessed the availability of services and different possibilities lower that their urban peers. On the one hand, the availability of transportation, career planning, labor market services or leisure activities are limited, on the other hand their quality is not sufficient enough.
Young people were asked for their opinion on five different topics: the future of work, Estonia’s E-Government, Estonia in 2035, possibilities and quality of services in their home area and the European Union. In addition to input to a number of development plans and strategies the dialogue aimed to understand why young people have such opinions as they have.
Preliminary results are basis for the youth seminars taking place on 8th November 2019 where solutions on future of Estonia are sought.
The web-based consultations were executed this spring and summer in cooperation with the Estonian National Youth Council and with the support by the European Commission. The dialogue takes place every year, last year the dialogue focused on seven topics: equal possibilities, info society, mental health, the future of work and skills, EU, environment and youth participation. Those results provided significant input for the new EU Youth Strategy 2019-2017.