The Eurobarometer Representation Dataset
Constructed by Robert Rohrschneider and Nick Clark
The ERD contains over 400 measures of political behavior at the EU level gathered from Eurobarometer (EB) surveys conducted between 1990 and 2011. To better identify trends in public opinion, the European Union commissions and publishes public opinion surveys twice a year that contain a series of standardized questions (known as the ‘Standard Eurobarometer’ series). This survey series measures opinions on European integration, the EU institutions and EU policies, as well as social and political values and household demographics. While the Eurobarometer offers one of the largest, oldest, and most reliable sources of public opinion data, there have been few efforts to merge the different EB surveys into a single database that allows longitudinal analyses of European public opinion.
The ERD authors first combed through Standard EB 61.0 from 2004 – one of the larger EB surveys – to identify questions relevant to research on political behavior. Based on this preliminary analysis, we identified 88 recurring questions and created six categories for these questions: Perceptions of the EU Institutions; Support for EU Membership; Evaluations of National Political Systems; National and EU-Level Electoral Behavior; Political Knowledge of the EU; and Demographics. We used these 88 questions as a baseline for the ERD, adding additional questions of interest from earlier and later EB surveys.