Young French-speaking Belgians feel 'disconnected' from political world

Young French-speaking Belgians feel disconnected from the political sphere, according to a survey by the non-profit group Youth Forum. The project, called Young in 2023, interviewed more than 1,000 people aged 16 to 30 from Wallonia and Brussels. The results were published on Monday.

Over six months, Youth Forum spoke to 1,032 young French-speaking Belgians and presented their testimonies about daily life. Those interviewed "pointed out the imperfections of a system which no longer suits them and which they intend to reinvent".

Young people say they have "more and more difficulty trusting the political world" for various reasons, starting with an awareness of discrimination at federal and European levels.

© Forum Des Jeunes
© Forum Des Jeunes

"We should all have the right to housing and food, even if we don't work. Just enough to live on, that is. It's true that we are overpopulated, but that doesn't mean we have to let people die in the street,” said 16-year-old F. Respondents' full names were not used. Others said that fundamental rights continue to be violated in Belgium, including the right to a decent life, to reception, to a quality environment or the rights of women and minorities.

The feeling of a lack of representation also explains this lack of connection between young people and the political world. “I can’t identify with political figures, so I lose interest in what they do,” said A, 23.

Young people are also critical of the police and the justice system. While they do not reject them as institutions, they drew attention to the "violent and the racist or sexist reflexes of the police institution". Those surveyed advocated for "longer training for police officers, better reception of victims and reinforced internal control".


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