A policy for the future must take the perspective of young people seriously. This also applies to international cooperation, which is a concern of the younger generation. A generation is growing up around the world that thinks and feels much more globally than their parents and grandparents.
Young people today are growing up in a highly connected globalized world. They are digitally connected with their peers all over the world. Many of them have a global perspective thanks to diverse experiences abroad. For them, it is clear that transnational solutions are needed for the major challenges of our time. They are much more likely to see themselves as global citizens and support international cooperation to address multiple crises.
Past the youth
For the majority of young Swiss people, it is a matter of course that their country assumes global responsibility. According to the ETH study "Security 2023", 78 % of the 18-35 year olds surveyed would like Switzerland to provide more development cooperation. Young people would probably describe the Federal Council's February 2023 announcement to cut the international cooperation budget as "old school." A young global-thinking generation will hardly identify with such decisions. After all, the very young people who today fear for their future have long understood: In view of conflicts and crises around the world, significantly more spending is needed for international cooperation.
For a policy with a future
It is time for politicians to take seriously the voice of young people, who see themselves as representatives of the Global Generation, and for the change in values that is also underway in Switzerland to be reflected in concrete political decisions.
We wanted to understand more precisely what young people think about development cooperation and talked to them: