Four Decades of Surveying Europe –
Perspectives on Academic Research with the European Commission’s Eurobarometer Surveys

 

Friday July 10th 2015, Cologne Germany

General Chair: Dr. Markus Quandt (GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences)

 

A successful event gives credit to the Eurobarometer

The Eurobarometer Symposium at GESIS has attracted almost 60 participants, students as well as senior researchers, coming from 14 European countries, including Russia and Turkey, and from North America. Among the participants were nine lecturers, social scientists with relevant experience in international comparative research, representatives from TNS opinion, since more than ten years responsible for the implementation of the Eurobarometer surveys, and the head of European Commission's Eurobarometer unit. Opening and moderation were in the hands of data archive representatives from the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) and from the GESIS Research Data Center "International Survey Programmes".

45 years ago, with the European Communities Study 1970, the foundation was laid for the European Commission’s Eurobarometer programme, a unique international comparative survey series which by now amounts to about 3700 large face-to-face surveys among national publics in EU member and candidate countries. On this occasion the symposium will revisit this data resource that always represented, and still represents, the evidence base not only for European Union politics, but also for a vast body of research on political and social processes of European unification.

The symposium programme was composed of invited lectures on exemplary research topics from Political Science and Sociology, complemented by reviewed poster giving an insight into its broad thematic and methodological spectrum. A concluding round table discussion focused on the future perspectives of using Eurobarometer data in academic research.

Featured lectures started from an evaluation of the historical role of the Eurobarometer between the political construction of Europe and its (pioneer) contribution to comparative research; they exemplified the strength of the data base in time coverage and in variety of topics, investigated the constitutional factors of European identity or the trust in European institutions in times of crisis, as well as the strategic field of changing public understanding of science and technology. They also represented selected methodological challenges and not least revised the measurement quality of Eurobarometer compared to academic survey programmes.

See lectures by programme (32 KB) order:

Event opening

Peter Granda (ICPSR) - "Eurobarometer data curation: a short history (1.5 MB)"

Peter Granda is Director of the ICPSR Data Archive and, in cooperation with GESIS, established a partnership to process and distribute Eurobarometer surveys for secondary analyses. Already in the 1970ies ICPSR started processing and documenting Eurobarometer micro data for long term re-use in Social Science research. Background was a close cooperation between Jacques-René Rabier, founder father of the Eurobarometer at the Commission in Brussels, and Michigan University based political scientist Ronald Inglehart, who launched his famous materialism/post-materialism items with this new European survey program.

Keynote

Pierre Bréchon (Science Po, Grenoble) - "The history of Eurobarometers: initial context and aims, evolutions, a fascinating database for European citizens and for research, some problems (551 KB)"

Pierre Bréchon  is Professor for Political Sciences at the SciencesPo Grenoble and internationally recognized for his research expertise in international comparative survey programs and European Values. His memorable edited volume “Les enquêtes Eurobaromètres - Analyse comparée des données socio-politiques” (together with Bruno Cautres) stands as a focal point for his historical view on the research potential of this large database.

Section 1 "European Politics"

David Voidies (European Commission, DG COMM A1) - "Eurobarometer in 2015" (2.3 MB)

David Voidies has a long experience with Eurobarometer. He is with the European Commission's DG COMM A1 "Strategy, Corporate Communication Actions and Eurobarometer" and head of the "Eurobarometer" sector.

Felix Roth (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen) - "Crisis and trust in national and European Union institutions: panel evidence for the EU, 1999 to 2014 (1.6 MB)"

Felix Roth is Postdoctoral Lecturer and Research Associate at University of Göttingen, Faculty of Economics, and (non-resident) research fellow at the EC DG Economics and Financial Affairs. Based on Eurobarometer data he has analysed the impact of the financial and sovereign debt crisis on trust in national and European Union institutions and public support for the euro.  The corresponding article "Political Economy of EMU. Rebuilding Systemic Trust in the Euro Area in Times of Crisis" has been published by the EC DG Economic and Financial Affairs (Discussion Paper 16. September 2015. Brussels).

Section 2 "European People"

Emanuel Deutschmann (Jacobs University Bremen) - "Doing research on transnational activity and European identity using Eurobarometer surveys: prospects and challenges" (1.9 MB)

Emanuel Deutschmann is sociologist and PhD fellow at the Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences. As research associate at the Jocobs University he is collaborator of the project “New Europeans: Cross-border Interactions and Transnational Identities” (principal investigator: Jan Delhey), part of the DFG-funded Research Unit Horizontal Europeanization. The project is based on secondary analysis of Eurobarometer data.


Martin W Bauer (The London School of Economics and Political Science) - "Eurobarometer research potentials: public understanding of science and technology (2.5 MB)"

Martin W Bauer is Professor of Social Psychology and Research Methodology at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences. His research focuses on societal change as manifesting itself in social representations and public attitudes to science and technology. He was responsible for the data harmonization work resulting in the Eurobarometer trend file "Public Understanding of Science in Europe 1989-2005".

Section 3 "Methods & Linking"

Julien Zalc (TNS opinion, Brussels) - "The Eurobarometer: tools and methods to ensure quality" (1009 KB)

Julien Zalc is specialist in public opinion in the European Union and external consultant for TNS opinion with focus on questionnaire design, report writing and data analysis. TNS opinion is responsible for the implementation of the Eurobarometer surveys on behalf of the European Commission since more than 10 years.

Luana Russo (Maastricht University) - "Multi facets of political representation: data harmonization and linking in the PolicyVotes project" (1.7 MB)

Luana Russo is lecturer in research methods at the University of Maastricht, Faculty of Art and Science and also research affiliate at the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Institute Of Economics, and at the Vrij Universiteit Brussel, Department of Political Science. Her research expertise comprises comparative politics, political participation and representation, and electoral behaviour. She is involved in the “Policy Votes” project, an international comparative and longitudinal database on political responsiveness which undertakes harmonization and cross-linking of survey data, including Eurobarometer, with other data types such as election results, data on political parties and governments, or legislative outputs.

Elmar Schlüter (Justus Liebig University Giessen) - "Eurobarometer & Co. compared: different surveys, different results?" (419 KB)

Elmar Schlüter is Professor of International Comparative Social Research Methods at the University of Giessen, Department of Sociology. He has examined the differences between European nation-states regarding integration policies and their influence on citizens' views towards immigrants (together with Eldad Davidov and Bart Meulemann) using individual-level data from Eurobarometer and European Values Study.

Poster Session

Ten reviewed research posters (five travel awards) were invited to direct the attention to the broad variety of relevant research based on the reuse of Eurobarometer micro data and to provide an opportunity for intensive academic exchange. The review was undertaken by Professor Hermann Schmitt (MZES, Mannheim), Dr. Markus Quandt and Dr. Meinhard Moschner (GESIS-DAS).

See poster presentations by subject area:

European Unification

Kai Guthmann and David Weisstanner (AWARDED) - “How the Euro divides the Union: The Effect of Economic Adjustment on Support for Democracy in Europe” (470 KB)

Kai Guthmann is a Ph.D. student and David Weisstanner is a prospective Ph.D. student working for the Chair of Comparative and European Politics at the University of Bern, Institute of Political Science. The poster they are presenting is based on a working paper which is currently being prepared for journal submission. The title is “How the Euro divides the Union: The Effect of Economic Adjustment on Support for Democracy in Europe”. The authors are Klaus Armingeon, Kai Guthmann, and David Weisstanner. The empirical analysis is based on 28 EU member countries and 26 aggregated Eurobarometer surveys between 2002 and 2014.

Justyna Salamonska (AWARDED) - “Free movers or immigrants? Attitudes towards immigration from the EU countries” (595 KB)

Justyna Salamonska holds a Ph.D. in Sociology and is postdoctoral research associate at the Migration Policy Centre of the European University Institute in Florence. She presents a poster on “Free movers or immigrants? Attitudes towards immigration from the EU countries” examining the attitudes towards immigration from within the EU. From recent Eurobarometer results she gained a better understanding of how social transnationalism matters for European integration from below. Ms. Salamonska has been visiting researcher at the GESIS EUROLAB this spring.

Osman Sabri Kiratli – “The role of identity in support for supranational integration in EU Foreign and Security Policies” (316 KB)

Osman Sabri Kiratli is assistant professor at the Boğaziçi University Istanbul, International Trade Department. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts. His poster is on “The role of identity in support for supranational integration in EU Foreign and Security Policies”. The corresponding paper was recently published in the European Integration Online Papers (EIOP). He uses Eurobarometer data and state positions prior to the three major EU treaties, Maastricht 1992, Amsterdam 1997, and Rome 2004 (Constitutional) to explain how self-identification with Europe has affected state positions regarding supranational integration of the CFSP and ESDP .

Gitta Glüpker-Kesebir - “The gender gap in public opinion on European integration” (61 KB)

Gitta Glüpker-Kesebir is graduate student at the Koç University Istanbul, Department of International Relations. She is currently writing her PhD thesis on “The gender gap in public opinion on European integration”, which is also the title of her poster presentation. Her data base is the Standard Eurobarometer between 1995 and 2012, including candidate countries Iceland, Macedonia, Montenegro and Turkey.

Methodology and European Unification

Sybille Luhmann (AWARDED) - “The emergence of a European Identity – putting neofunctionalism to the test” (1.1 MB)

Sybille Luhmann, a political scientist, is working on her Ph.D. project at the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Graduate School of Social Sciences (BGSS). Together with researchers from the University of Cambridge and the University of Konstanz, she is developing an instrument for measuring the conscious and subconscious levels of collective identity in Europe. The preliminary title of her poster presentation is “The emergence of a European Identity – putting neofunctionalism to the test”. She uses an extended version of the Mannheim Eurobarometer Trend File, prolonged until 2012 for identity data and relevant demographics.

Methodology

Tineke de Jonge (AWARDED) - “Conversion of verbal response scales to the 0-10 continuum – Application of the Reference Distribution Method to time series from the Eurobarometer” (522 KB)

Tineke de Jonge is methodologist, holding a master degree in mathematics from the University of Amsterdam and a Professional Doctorate in Engineering from the Technical University Delft, and worked as senior researcher for Statistics Netherlands where she set up the program “Well-being of the Dutch population”. She just completed her PhD at the Erasmus University Rotterdam on “Different survey questions on the same topic. How to make responses comparable?” using the examples of ‘happiness’ and ‘life satisfaction’. Her poster deals with the “Conversion of verbal response scales to the 0-10 continuum – Application of the Reference Distribution Method to time series from the Eurobarometer”.

Pádraig Ó’Riagáin (AWARDED) - “Measures of language proficiency in national and multinational surveys: A methodological comparison” (72 KB)

Pádraig Ó’Riagáin is Professor Emeritus of Sociology of Language and Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Language & Communication Studies, Trinity College Dublin. He presents a poster on “Measures of language proficiency in national and multinational surveys: A methodological comparison”. Relevant questions in the three special Eurobarometer on European languages conducted in 2000 (EB 54LAN), 2005 (EB 63.4 and 64.3) and 2012 (EB77.1) will be evaluated against comparable data in the ISSP, national surveys and censuses conducted over the same period.

Special Topics or Policy Fields

Daniel Antal - "Creating better national cultural statistics based on the analysis of Eurobarometer datasets and ESSNet-Culture technical recommendations" (696 KB)

Dániel Antal is consultant at "Candole Partners" with experience in energy, transport and intellectual property. He holds an MSc in Economics from Budapest University and an MSc in Economic Regulation and Competition Policy at the City University London. Mr. Antal submitted a poster proposal on "Creating better national cultural statistics based on the analysis of Eurobarometer datasets and ESSNet-Culture technical recommendations" with substantial findings for the music and audiovisual industries, cultural policy and researchers.

Juan Antonio Campos-Soria - “Tourism Expenditure of EU-27 Regions under the Global Economic Crisis” (282 KB)

Juan Antonio Campos-Soria is professor for Applied Economics (Economic Structure) at the University of Malaga, Faculty of Economics and Business. He presents a poster on “Tourism Expenditure of EU-27 Regions under the Global Economic Crisis” combining Flash Eurobarometer micro data with macro data from EUROSTAT (GDP) and an the World Meteorological Organization (climate index).

Anna Ryabchikova - “The Fertility Gap in Europe: Factors and implications” (91 KB)

Anna Ryabchikova is research assistant at the National Research University – Higher School of Economics (Moscow), Laboratory for Comparative Social Research. Her academic interests are in gender sociology, family sociology, cross-cultural attitudes and values. Ms. Ryabchikova provides a poster on “The Fertility Gap in Europe: Factors and implications”. The study includes EU 27 member countries and is based on special Eurobarometer data on “family planning” collected in 2011 (EB 75.4).