All over Europe, it's the young who are eurosceptics. They can see the superstate is a disaster! Comment, by Dan Hannan, MEP.
26/08/2008

All over the EU, it's the young who are sceptics I see in El Mundo that Spaniards are still big Euro-enthusiasts. Well, yes, we already knew that. Most Euro-barometer polls rank them as the most pro-Brussels of the 27 states. They are one of the few national electorates who would - who did - vote for the European Constitution Lisbon Treaty. The interesting thing, though, is how this Euro-idealism fades among voters under 30. There are some peculiarly Spanish reasons for this, touched on by El Mundo. When British Europhiles claim that the alternative to the EU is isolation, the charge carries little force. People understand that Britain is connected by its colonising and enterprising energies to every continent. But Spaniards over a certain age know precisely what isolation means. Their emergence from dictatorship happened to coincide with their preparation for EU membership so that the two things became blurred in their minds. To an entire generation, "Europe" means freedom of expression and multi-party elections and contemporary art and short skirts and extra TV stations and admittance to the comity of nations. But there is more to it than that. Polls in other countries show a similar demographic breakdown. In every recent referendum - France, the Netherlands, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, even Luxembourg - "Yes" votes came disproportionately from the over-50s. To people brought up with broadband and cheap flights, the idea that political structures should be dictated by geographical proximity seems bizarre. They see the EU for what it is: a hangover form the statist, big-bloc thinking if the 1950s. The integrationist cause - there is no nice way to put this - is dying of old age.

 
 
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