During the first year of the project, the research team at UNISI, in close cooperation with the other partners, has designed the questionnaire for the first wave of the elite survey. To be able to compare the attitudes of leaders and public opinion, this questionnaire mirrors the one designed for the public opinion survey (WP6). The questionnaire ensures continuity with previous elite surveys to allow to explore changes in leaders’ attitudes over time. At the same time, new items have been included to reflect the most pressing challenges to the EU.
The questionnaire mainly focuses on three policy areas – economy, immigration and international security – and it explores issues of transnational solidarity, representation, policy preference and scope of governance. A special attention is devoted to Brexit.
The elites survey was conducted in the second half of 2016 in ten countries (Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, Poland and Portugal). A representative sample of national MPs has completed an online questionnaire. The survey has been scripted, hosted and centrally managed by the Laboratory for Political and Social Analyses (LAPS) of the University of Siena (http://www.laps.unisi.it).
The research team at UNISI is currently leading the analyses of elites’ attitudes toward the EU with a particular focus on the issue of sustainability of deeper integration and of possible institutional scenarios. The same team is also working to preparation of the second wave of the elite survey scheduled in Fall 2017.