UK in a Changing Europe: Co-producing an e-tool to increase youth involvement in the UK referendum on EU membership
Start Date: May 2015 End Date: May 2020 Status: Completed
The gap between citizens and European institutions is growing constantly, with young people showing an especially low interest in EU affairs. Citizens’ low level of political engagement not only has a serious effect on the quality of the EU’s democratic life, but also means citizens’ interests and views are likely to be under-represented in the decision-making process. This project extended the ESRC and EU Representation in the UK funded project entitled ‘Reconnecting UK Youth to Europe’ undertaken in 2013-14.
To produce an e-tool and regular blogs for the UK in a Changing Europe website. The e-tool should also be shared with ESRC who will make it available on their public engagement section of the ESRC website aimed at school.
- Co-production with youth participation organisations on the design and implementation of the project.
- Public engagement event – one-off schools debate on the referendum.
- Survey embedded in the e-site asking respondents what underpinned their preferences to either remain in, or to leave, the European Union as well as their reasons for doing so.
The ‘Me&EU’ project achieved its core objectives in using empirical data to support young people from across the UK in their decision making and also stimulated behavioural change among young people – i.e. getting registered, informed and out to vote in the UK referendum on EU membership. As mentioned, the project was shortlisted for the 99% Campaign Youth Digital Award at the 5th Annual IARS Research and Youth Leadership Awards 2016 because of its cutting-edge research and youth leadership.
The project featured prominently in the mass media. We succeeded in amplifying the voices of young people in the Referendum debate by co-producing a press release (i.e. ESRC, NTU and UEL Press Offices) and engaging local, regional, national, pan-European media outlets (i.e. Nottingham Evening Post, Newham Recorder, West Bridgford Wire, Euro News, ESharp Magazine, BBC Radio Derby, BBC Radio Northampton, Radio EY Referendum Analysis publication). We reached beyond our targeted local youth audience and reached an overseas audience. For further information, see listings in the Appendix. We also hosted a series of webinars jointly with thestudentroom.co.uk, who run the largest students' digital network in the UK.
- Me and EU. 2016. Me and EU: What about me in a changing Europe? [Project Website] Available at: http://meu.open-lab.com/ [Accessed 18 December 2016].
- EuroNews, 2016. What do young people think of Brexit? [Online] Available at: http://www.euronews.com/2016/06/15/what-do-young-people-think-of-brexit [Accessed 18 December 2016].
- BBC Radio Northampton. 2016. Me and EU interview. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03vhn59 [Accessed 18 December 2016].
- Sharpe, D. and Henn, M. (2016) Young people in a changing Europe. British youth and Brexit 2016. In: UK Election Analysis 2015: Media, Voters and the Campaign. Available at: http://www.referendumanalysis.eu/eu-referendum-analysis-2016/section-8-voters/young-people-in-a-changing-europe-british-youth-and-brexit-2016/ [Accessed 18 December 2016].
- ESRC. Me and EU: What about me in a changing Europe? [Online] Available at: http://www.esrc.ac.uk/public-engagement/social-science-for-schools/education-links/ [Accessed 18 December 2016].