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The Eurobarometer and the process of European integration


  • Sylke Nissen



For nearly 40 years, the European Commission has observed the development of the European Union as it is reflected in public opinion. The Eurobarometer measures the European population’s attitudes about various issues related to Europe. The informational value of the Eurobarometer is viewed as quite high, since the surveys, which are conducted twice a year, generate a large quantity of data. This article investigates the role of the Eurobarometer in the process of European integration by analysing the methodological foundations of the Eurobarometer and discussing its weaknesses. The final section addresses the issue of whether the European Commission, as the contracting entity, utilizes the Eurobarometer as a political instrument to promote support for the process of European integration. It is argued here that the Commission’s instrumentalisation of the Eurobarometer jeopardizes its informational value, whereas at the same time the political benefits of this shift remain debatable. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Sylke Nissen, 2014. "The Eurobarometer and the process of European integration," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 713-727, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:qualqt:v:48:y:2014:i:2:p:713-727
    DOI: 10.1007/s11135-012-9797-x

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jan Marcus, 2009. "Der Einfluss von Erhebungsformen auf den Postmaterialismus-Index," Research Notes of the German Council for Social and Economic Data 42, German Council for Social and Economic Data (RatSWD).
    2. Stocké, Volker & Becker, Birgit, 2004. "Determinanten und Konsequenzen der Umfrageeinstellung : Bewertungsdimensionen unterschiedlicher Umfragesponsoren und die Antwortbereitschaft der Befragten," Papers 04-17, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
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