|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.
|This round of EB surveys queried respondents on standard EB measures, such as how satisfied they were with their present life, whether they attempted to persuade others close to them to share their views on subjects they held strong opinions about, whether they discussed political matters, what their country's goals should be for the next ten years, and how they viewed the need for societal change. Additional questions focused on the respondents' knowledge of and opinions on the European Community (EC), including how well-informed they felt about the EC, what sources of information about the EC they used, whether their country had benefited from being an EC member, and the extent of their personal interest in EC matters. Another major focus of the surveys was energy and the future. Respondents were asked questions concerning energy problems and use, with particular attention paid to nuclear power. Respondents were asked about the sources of their information on the EC and energy issues, and their opinions concerning media coverage of the European Economic Community (EEC). Opinions also were obtained concerning the proper level of government -- local, national, or European -- to perform various regulatory functions (e.g., nature conservation, air and water pollution, nuclear plants, endangered species, placement of industrial sites, and energy research). The survey also queried respondents concerning their appliance and vehicle ownership, their hopes and fears for the future, their opinions of and level of trust in Americans, and their potential involvement in particular political causes, e.g., human rights, sexual equality, and environmental protection. In addition, a special sample of youths aged 15 through 24 was asked about education and employment prospects and about their lives, interests, and relationships with family and friends. Demographic information about the respondents includes age, sex, party of support, marital status, age upon completion of full-time education, occupation, composition of household, family income, and province and region of interview. Several constructed indices also are included. Euro-Barometer 17: Energy and the Future, April 1982 contains data gathered from representative samples of respondents who were interviewed in each of the ten nations of the EC (Germany, Great Britain, Denmark, Italy, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Greece) in April 1982.