Youth in the Mediterranean: echoes of the past and the promises of the future

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The Mediterranean region, home to a diverse and dynamic youth population, faces a range of socio-economic challenges and opportunities. With over 60 million young people aged 15-29, the region's youth demographic constitutes a significant portion of its population. However, youth unemployment rates remain a pressing issue, averaging around 25%, nearly double the global average. One of the foremost concerns facing youth in the Mediterranean is the quality and accessibility to work.

Efforts to address these challenges are ongoing. Youth-led initiatives are gaining traction, driven by social media platforms where 75% of young people are active users. These platforms serve as vehicles for expression, advocacy, and mobilization, harnessing the energy of Mediterranean youth to shape their own futures and contribute to the region's development.

High rates of youth unemployment have been a longstanding issue in many Mediterranean countries. Economic downturns, structural challenges, and a lack of job opportunities have led to a sense of frustration and disillusionment among young people. As the region grapples with the aftermath of various crises, fostering an environment that encourages entrepreneurship, innovation, and investment in sectors like technology and sustainable industries could offer a path towards addressing this issue. Empowering young people to be active participants in shaping their economies can contribute to overall stability and growth.

Taking this scenario into account, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation Madrid office and its strategic partner Esade Centre for Economic Policy (EsadeEcpol) joined efforts to produce the Youth Trans Mediterranean Survey, implemented by the Spanish Company YouGov.

The survey was implemented across seven Mediterranean countries from both shores: Spain, Italy, Portugal, Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia, with the aim to provide a socioeconomic mapping and an analysis of the ongoing situation and expectations of the younger generations (between 18 and 35 years old).

In the last quarter of the year, the main findings and conclusions concerning Mediterranean youth attitudes and perceptions toward a list of current topics such as the general and personal economic situation; the impact of AI and automatization in their personal and work life, among others, will be unveiled at a presentation event. Stay tuned for more news on the subject.