Young people speak up in a debate around the impact of the last two global crises

FNF Madrid presents in Spain the documentary film Double Generation Crisis.
Debate Double Generation Crisis
© FNF Madrid 

On March 3rd, 2021 the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom and EsadeEcPol presented the documentary on the “Double Crisis Generation” followed by a debate with young representatives and one of the protagonists in the film. The documentary depicts a snapshot of the socioeconomic situation of the Y generation in Southern Europe.

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© FNF Madrid

The Great Recession has led to a deterioration in the living conditions of young people and a postponement in their life projects. During the debate, led by Aurora Nacarino-Brabo, political scientist and journalist, the difficult moment that young Southern Europeans are going through having suffered two global crises was highlighted by the example of Spain.

While countries such as Germany, France or Sweden, the post-crisis generation - those born between 1985 and 95, live better than their predecessors, this is not the case in Spain, Italy or Portugal.

The documentary was filmed based on the results of the study 'The generation of the double crisis. Economic insecurity and political attitudes in Southern Europe', the first that has been done generationally in this way.

The extensive cross-border research suggests that the social pact has been threatened by not providing the new generations with opportunities. Both income and employment levels are reached in Southern Europe at the age of 30 in the post-crisis generation, hindering the life projects of young people and delaying their vital development by almost 10 years. This also means that in Spain, Italy and Portugal the capacity to accumulate wealth has been reduced.

Watch the full debate held in Spanish here:

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Double Generation Crisis debate, March 2021 © FNF Madrid

From the representatives of the younger generations that participated in the debate, Fernando Carruesco, president of Talent for the Future, stressed, “the most relevant thing is not what is always on the table, but the psychological feeling that the situation produces in young people”. For the first time in modern history, young people think that the future is worse than the present.

From his side, Miguel Matellanes, President of the DEMOS Association pointed towards the lack of mechanisms to participate in society and of trust into institutions. He said, "voting is the most profitable action and the most effective when it comes to making decisions, and we must continue to promote voting among young people.”

And Marta Ordeig, protagonist of the documentary and Director of Garage Stories added "I think there was a mismatch between expectations with which we grew up and the real world in which we find ourselves apart from a sum of a social and political conjuncture that does not help at all."

The COVID 19 pandemic may prove to be an opportunity for the governments of Southern Europe to carry out the necessary reforms, with emphasis on policies that ensure opportunities for young people to enter adult life and the labor market and start a family. The challenge is to avoid a new lost generation of young people entering the labor market.

David Henneberger
David Henneberger, Director of the FNF Madrid Office.