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Unemployment and pensions are Europeans' main concerns for the next generation

London (UK), March 1, 2007 –  Unemployment (40 %) and pensions (30 %) top the list of issues that concern European Union citizens for the next generation, according to the findings of the Special Eurobarometer survey conducted by TNS Opinion for the European Commission. Coming next, Europeans are also worried about prospects for the cost of living (26 %), and crime (25 %).

The survey, which interviewed nearly 26,800 people across the 25 Member States, the –at that moment‑ acceding countries Bulgaria and Romania, also shows that people worry much more about the environment when it comes to the next generation than in the present (24 % vs. 13 %). Indeed, although overall people’s main three concerns for the next generation are the same as those that concern them most at the present, the intensity of concern differs. For instance, unemployment is a bigger concern for the next generation than to the present (40 % vs. 36 %) whereas concerns about the cost of living are less intense (26 % vs. 35 %) and education is also more an issue of concern for future generations (18 % vs. 13 %).

At the country level, concerns about unemployment for the future generation are most widespread in Greece (66 %), followed by France (53 %), Hungary (52 %) and Luxembourg (51 %). In Denmark and the Netherlands unemployment is a non-issue for the current generation, and very few citizens see it as a problem for the next generation (9 % and 11 %, respectively). In Germany, citizens worry about their own pensions, and are even more worried when it comes to the pensions of future generations (47 % vs. 43 %). In Austria, Malta and the Czech Republic there is also widespread concern over the pensions of the next generation (all 40 %). In the three Baltic States, Denmark, Cyprus and Bulgaria only around one in ten people express concern about this issue for the next generation.

When it comes to concerns about the cost of living for the next generation, the three countries topping the list are the same that express concern at the present, although the extent of it for the next generation is less intense: Hungary (48 % vs. 59 %), Cyprus (38 % vs. 60 %) and Portugal (38 % vs. 56 %). In neither Denmark and Sweden, the cost of living is a present or future problem.

The various age groups in the population are unanimous in the view that unemployment is the primary concern for the next generation. Concern for the other issues is somewhat more varied among the age groups. Younger respondents are more inclined to list the environment as a main concern, whereas older respondents more often list pensions as a concern for the next generation.

Marita Carballo, Global Head of TNS Polling & Social, comments: “Looking at the results of the Special Eurobarometer survey conducted by TNS Opinion, it comes up that Europeans are more concerned about issues affecting their quality of life than about potential threats to their personal security. In this context, issues as unemployment, pensions and –specially‑ the environment are feared to worsen for the next generation.”

About TNS Polling & Social Facts and Figures:

The Eurobarometer report was posted at the following website on February 2007:

The European Commission has made data from this report available to relevant media since it was first published. To the best of our knowledge, the findings in the attached press release have not been released.

These findings are based on TNS Opinion research conducted between November and December 2006. All data discussed in the above announcement is based on the opinions of those surveyed. TNS will only support data which is published, in the context we have presented it and our own interpretation of these findings. We cannot be held responsible for any other interpretation.

As a leading information provider, TNS wants to cast new light on currently debated topics presenting data collected on a European or International basis. TNS Polling & Social Facts & Figures will be published twice a month.

Methodological background:

Fieldwork: 17th of November to the 19th of December 2006
Number of interviews conducted: 26,755 persons interviewed face-to-face in the 25 Member States of the EU, Bulgaria and Romania.

About TNS

TNS is a market information group:
* The world’s largest provider of custom research and analysis;
* A leader in political and social polling;
* A major supplier of consumer panel, media intelligence and TV and radio audience measurement services.

TNS operates across a global network in over 70 countries, allowing us to provide internationally consistent, up-to-the-minute and high quality information and analysis.

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For more information and detailed results on a country-by-country basis, please contact:

Marita Carballo, Global Head of TNS Polling & Social
Tel: +44 (0) 7739 856 902 or email:

Leendert de Voogd, Managing Director, TNS Opinion
Tel: +32 (0) 2 66 118 66 or email:

Katie Zurita, International PR Manager, TNS
Tel: +44 (0) 208 967 4787 or email:

Liz Kearney / Emily Luscombe, Camargue
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7636 7366 or email:

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