Hermann Schmitt
The Eurobarometers: Their Evolution, Obvious Merits, and Ways to Add Value to Them

European Union Politics, 2003: 4, issue 2, p. 243-251

Eurobarometers have been the chief research tool for empirically oriented, comparative social researchers who are interested in the micro-foundations of European politics and society. Conducted on behalf of the European Commission, the surveys serve both short-term ("political") and long-term ("analytical") purposes. As a matter of principle, the data are made publicly available and thus accessible for academic usage soon after end of fieldwork. This short article reviews the obvious achievements of and ways to add value to the Eurobarometers, with particular attention to the longitudinal character of the database and to their potential role in multi-level analyses involving additional data sources.