Most Eastern Europeans over the age of 40 currently feel less safe than before the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, writes The Guardian, citing a YouGov survey. Despite fears for democracy in their countries, the people of Eastern Europe believe in the power of civil society.
30 years after the fall of the Berlin wall, Eastern Europeans fear for the future of democracy, do not trust their governments and the media, writes The Guardian.
In particular, according to a survey by the British company YouGov, 51% to 61% of respondents in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia believe that democracy in their countries is threatened. In addition, most of the respondents are worried about the freedom of speech, rule of law, and freedom of Assembly in their countries.
Two-thirds of respondents in Bulgaria, over half in Hungary and Romania, and one third of respondents in Poland do not believe in the honesty and fairness of the elections.
Less than a quarter of respondents older than 40 said that they feel safer than in 1989. Moreover, most in Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary, and slightly less than half of respondents in Slovakia, Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic found that people became more difficult to live the life that they would like to live, regardless of their origin, ethnicity or sexual orientation.
The majority of residents in the countries where the survey admitted that they believe in the power of civil society. The creators of the survey revealed high activity of citizens, especially among people aged 18 to 22 years belonging to the so-called “generation Z”, and from 23 to 37 years, namely the Millennials.
According to the authors of the study, along with the “credibility crisis”, they found “a strong spirit of dissent and willingness to challenge those in power.” This is especially true of “generation Z”.
“They came of age in the era after the recession and possess a remarkable ability to effectively mobilize and navigate the information environment. They are confident, feel that they can affect large-scale change, and demonstrate a widespread recognition of social justice,” said the authors of the survey.
The main “engine of positive change,” they said that young women are capable of compassion, and more tolerant than men, writes The Guardian.