High sense of European identity among young students, according to ICCS study

Over 80 000 young students in the year 8 of schooling (about 14 years old) took part in the International Civic and Citizenship Education Study (ICCS).

The study was conducted in 2022 and its results underscore the critical impact of targeted educational initiatives in shaping the perspectives and civic engagement of Europe’s youth. As these students approach voting age, their enhanced understanding and connection to European values could significantly influence the political dynamics within the European Union (EU).

Key insights

The role of democratic citizenship education

Students who have more extensive opportunities to engage with civic education tend to develop more positive attitudes towards the EU. They are more inclined to support mobility within Europe and to adopt sustainable practices.

Strengthening European identity and civic participation

The data shows that these students not only possess a strong European identity but also demonstrate higher trust in European institutions compared to their national governments. Furthermore, there is an evident willingness among them to participate in European elections.

About the study

The 2022 study results collected data from 20 Erasmus+ countries, including 18 EU countries, Norway and Serbia. Respondents included:

  • 3 400 school principals
  • 40 000 teachers
  • 82 000 young students (8th grade)

The International Civic and Citizenship Education Study (ICCS) is the most comprehensive global assessment that focuses exclusively on the civic and citizenship knowledge of young students of 8th grade. The ICCS is conducted by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA).

The study is co-financed by the European Commission.