Focus groups implemented in Croatia

Focus groups in Croatia were conducted in two meetings with 16 young participants interested in youth involvement in EU projects and programs and the opportunities the EU offers to young people. Both focus groups were based on the results of the research we conducted among young people from Lithuania, Portugal, Italy and Croatia, and it related to young people’s knowledge about the European Parliament and the possibilities of involvement in political processes. In both focus groups, young people were quite engaged and had diverse thoughts about the interests of young people. What contributes to such results is the need for more interest of young people in engagement at the European level, which stems from the attitude that they cannot contribute to their role at the European level.

Furthermore, most participants agreed with the results that point out that young people distrust political institutions and don’t take active roles in politics and decision-making processes. The participants stated that young people feel they cannot contribute to any change with their voice, from which comes the feeling of helplessness and rejection of collective responsibility. However, it is important that young people are co-creators in events that promote European values and importance. As soon as young people have invested time, knowledge and opinion, they will be more involved in EU youth policies. Better promotion of mobility and similar EU projects is needed and the youth should learn about it from the youth.

Another important conclusion is that Civic education should be part of the educational curriculum, and political education to be carried out in high school for all 3 or 4 years in the Croatian education system. The participants had a basis on which they could comment on the results and give opinions, the discussion was constructive, and the transfer of experiences was at a good level.

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