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FP6

ESS4 — Result In Brief

Project ID: 28365
Funded under: FP6-CITIZENS

Better understanding societal changes across Europe

The fourth European Social Survey succeeded in securing additional funding to support its infrastructure needs and realise its vision.
Better understanding societal changes across Europe
The European Social Survey (ESS) is a time series with the objective of charting and explaining shifts in Europe's social, political and moral climate relative to changing patterns of population and institutions. It also targets the improvement of methods of social measurement in comparative studies and the development of a series of European social indicators that measure changes over time in the quality of life of various European nations. Three biennial rounds have been funded under the Fifth Framework Programme (FP5) and the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6). The ESS in its entirety is a shining example of the European Research Area (ERA) at work.

The 'European Social Survey round 4 - Improving social measurement in Europe' (ESS4) project maintained core ESS aims as it worked to provide data on underlying value changes across 30 European countries. Project design focused on providing a long-term account of shifts in the continent's societal trends and of how changing economic and political institutions interact over time with shifting values and attitudes.

The ESS4 succeeded in establishing itself as a robust multinational, multi-funded programme of substantive and methodological research on a large scale. Enjoying worldwide reputation for its rigour and utility, it was one of the first social science projects to secure funding for infrastructure support. ESS4 was awarded the Descartes prize, Europe's top annual science award, in 2005 and was nominated to be a future long-term infrastructure via the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) roadmap. In addition, the European Science Foundation's (ESF) review report noted that the significant success and impact of the ESS4 fully justified additional funding so as to maintain the project's quality and achieve its vision.

Successful ESS4 outcomes thus also paved the way for a fifth round of the European Social Survey.

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