|The Eurobarometer (EB) survey series is a unique programme of cross-national and cross-temporal comparative social science research. Since the early seventies representative national samples in all European Union (EU) (formerly the European Community (EC)) member states have been simultaneously interviewed in the spring and autumn of each year. Starting with EB 34.1 (autumn 1990), separate supplementary surveys on special issues have been conducted under almost every EB number. The EB is designed to provide regular monitoring of public social and political attitudes in the EU through specific trend questions. More information about the series may be found on the Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, Data Archive for the Social Sciences (GESIS) Eurobarometer Survey Series web pages. GESIS was formed in 2007 when three independent institutes merged (Social Science Information Centre (IZ) in Bonn, Central Archive for Empirical Social Research in Cologne (ZA), and Centre for Survey Research and Methodology (ZUMA) in Mannheim). Users should note that earlier EBs are available from GESIS.
Work on European survey series began in early 1970, when the Commission of the European Community sponsored simultaneous surveys of the EC. These surveys were designed to measure public awareness of, and attitudes toward, the Common Market and other EC institutions, in complementary fashion. They also probed the goals given top priority for each respondent's nation. These concerns have remained a central part of the EC's research efforts - which were carried forward in the summer of 1971 with another six-nation survey that gave special attention to agricultural problems. The nine EC member countries were then surveyed again on the same topic areas in September 1973. After 1973, the surveys took on a somewhat broader scope in content as well as in geographical coverage, with measures of subjective satisfaction and the perceived quality of life becoming standard features of the EC public opinion surveys.
Over time, the member states of the EC/EU have increased in number, and the coverage of the EB surveys has widened accordingly. In 1974, nine countries were surveyed: France, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland and Luxembourg. Greece has been included since the autumn 1980 survey (EB 14) onwards, Portugal and Spain since autumn 1985 (EB 24), the former German Democratic Republic since autumn 1990 (EB 34), Finland since the spring of 1993 (EB 39), and Sweden and Austria since the autumn of 1994 (EB 42). Norway has been included in some surveys since 1991, from EB 36 onwards. In 2004, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia joined the EU, and in 2007, Bulgaria and Romania (some of these countries participated in the Candidate Countries Eurobarometer survey series (see under GN 33343) before full accession). Candidate countries of Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Iceland have also been included in selected surveys. Some surveys are also conducted in Turkey, and in the Turkish Cypriot Community (Northern Cyprus).
The Eurobarometer public opinion surveys are conducted on behalf of and co-ordinated by the European Commission, DG Press and Communication - Opinion Polls Sector (European Commission Public Opinion Analysis). Special topic modules are carried out at the request of the responsible EU Directorate General.
|The major focus of this EB is the respondent's knowledge of and attitudes toward the nations of the Third World. Topics covered include the culture and customs of these nations, the existence of poverty and hunger, and the respondent's opinions on how best to provide assistance to Third World countries. Individuals answered questions on social and political conditions as well as on the level of economic development in these countries. Additionally, respondents were asked to assess the state of relations between the respondent's country and various Third World nations. Another focus of this data collection concerns energy problems and resources in the countries of the European Economic Community. Respondents were asked to choose which regions of the world are considered to be reliable suppliers of fossil fuel for the future and to evaluate the risks that various industrial installations such as chemical and nuclear power plants pose to people living nearby. Respondents were also asked about solutions to the need for additional energy supplies in the future. Possible solutions included the development or continued development of nuclear power, the encouragement of research into producing renewable energy sources such as solar energy, and the conservation of energy. As in previous surveys in this series, respondents' attitudes toward the Community, life satisfaction, and social goals continued to be monitored. The survey also asked each individual to assess the advantages and disadvantages of the creation of a single common European market and whether they approved or disapproved of current efforts to unify western Europe. In addition, the respondent's political orientation, outlook for the future, and socioeconomic and demographic characteristics were probed.