Eurobarometer Survey Series

Investigator(s): European Commission

The Standard and Special Eurobarometer surveys are the products of a unique program of cross-national and cross-temporal survey research. The effort began in early 1970, when the Commission of the European Communities sponsored simultaneous surveys of the publics of the European Communities. Three pilot studies were conducted in 1970, 1971 and 1973 under the header of European Communities Studies. Starting with 1974, regular Eurobarometer are carried out in spring and fall of each year.

The standard Eurobarometer surveys are designed to provide a regular monitoring of the social and political attitudes among the European publics, to obtain regular readings of support for European integration, public awareness of and attitudes toward European unification, the institutions of the European Communities, as of 1992 the European Union, and its policies in complementary fashion. Attitudes towards the organization and role of the European Parliament and electoral behavior became a major topic in pre- and post- European Elections times, until in 2011 the European Parliament took responsibility for an own survey module ("Parlemeter"). The standard program was complemented by measures of general socio-political orientations, of subjective satisfaction and the perceived quality of life, or of cultural, national and European identities.

Intermittently Eurobarometer surveys have investigated special topics, such as agriculture, biotechnology, energy, environment, family planning, gender roles, health related issues, immigration, poverty and social exclusion, regional identity, science and technology, information society, working conditions, urban traffic, knowledge of languages etc. In the case of some supplementary studies, special youth and elderly samples have been drawn. Starting with Eurobarometer 34 (1990) additional supplementary surveys on special issues are conducted under each wave.

Eurobarometer regularly include all member countries, starting with the six founder members and in accordance with the enlargement process. Norway has been un-officially included in selected waves between 1989 (EB 34) and 1996 (EB 46), Finland started before the actual enlargement in 1993 (EB 39.0), and a few Swiss Eurobarometer surveys were run in parallel to selected waves or topics, starting in 1999 (EB 51.1). Candidate and Accession Countries for the Eastern enlargement process were surveyed in the Candidate Countries Eurobarometer (CCEB) series from 2001 until the 2004 enlargement. From Autumn 2004 (EB 62) onwards the official membership candidates are at the time included in the standard surveys, as in the cases of Croatia, Turkey, Macedonia, Iceland, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania. Additional samples are drawn for Great Britain and Northern Ireland almost from the start, in Germany (East and West) after the re-unification in 1989, and in Cyprus for the Turkish Cypriot Community (Northern Cyprus) for selected surveys since 2004.

The surveys are conducted by affiliate international networks of survey research institutes on behalf of the European Commission's Directorate-General Communication. Beginning with Eurobarometer 43, the archival survey titles in this ICPSR series no longer contain a hyphen separating "Euro" and "Barometer," in keeping with current usage. Other archives may follow different naming.