WP1 develops a multi-wave and multi-country survey of national political elites set up to study political representation and decision-making problems in Europe.
During the first year of the project, the research team at UNISI, in close cooperation with the other partners, 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. Furthermore, special attention is devoted to the issue of Brexit.
The first wave of the survey was conducted in the second half of 2016 in ten countries (Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, the 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.
The research team at UNISI leads the analyses on political elite attitudes toward the EU. Several papers using the data of the first wave of the survey have been presented in conferences and public events, and submitted to leading journals in political science.
The same team is also managing the second wave of the survey in Fall 2017-2018.