Providing an Infrastructure for Research on Electoral Democracy in the European Union (PIREDEU)
PIREDEU was the name of the European Election Study 2009. While forming very much a part of the EES tradition, PIREDEU was different. Funded under the 7th Framework Programme for Research of the European Commission, it provided a "Design Infrastructure" to funders and users, and more generally to the scientific public interested in empirical research into electoral democracy at the EU level. The additional purpose of this Design Infrastructure of course was and is to open the way for a true infrastructure, i.e. a continuing democratic audit conducted at the occasion of subsequent European Parliament elections. PIREDEU was a modular study which combined and related to one another by way of "data pre-linking" several data gathering components. Those were a representative survey conducted shortly after the election among the citizens (voters and non-voters) in each of the then 27 member countries of the European Union (the Voter Study); a survey among the candidates standing for office in each of the member countries (the Candidates Survey); a quantitative content analysis of the contents of the front page news of the two main papers during the electoral campaign in each country (the Media Study); and another such quantitative content analysis of the party programmes issued at the occasion of the 2009 EP election (the Euromanifesto Study). The latter study component was taken care of at the MZES. The EES / PIREDEU websites have since mid-2005 attracted over 3,600 visits on average per month. In 2010 alone we counted over 1,000 downloads of the datasets produced by PIREDEU on the 2009 EP election studies. Analysis of EES data has generated a large number of scholarly publications; a bibliography updated in late 2011 contains 995 entries, including dozens of books and monographs and hundreds of peer-reviewed articles and book-chapters.