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The European Social Survey - Data for a Changing Europe

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A change of attitudes in Europe

Stronger collaboration among European nations on conducting social surveys has helped to reveal how our perceptions, ideas and attitudes are changing in an evolving world.

Society

Our world is changing rapidly, and people's attitudes are changing with it. Often, industries, business sectors and policymakers are out of touch with these rapid changes, a challenge that requires better ways to assess trends and attitude shifts. One such initiative in this direction is the European Social Survey (ESS), which has revealed key changes in how we think. Armed with the task of highlighting the latest attitudes, the EU-funded project ESS-DACE (The European Social Survey - Data for a changing Europe) consolidated disparate efforts of the ESS around Europe. It has improved links among several different institutions and stakeholders involved in the ESS to identify and explain changes in Europe's social, political and moral climate. Through this initiative, the project team improved measurement and coordination to raise the standards of national surveys. It trained researchers in this direction and supplied valuable information to policymakers, academics and citizens. To achieve its aims the project team worked on refining sampling techniques for participating countries. It designed and validated new surveys on issues of democracy and on personal and social well-being. Work was done on ensuring accurate translation of survey questions and concepts among European languages. ESS-DACE focused on quality enhancement to ensure equivalence of surveys and results in different European nations, in addition to preparing the ESS communication strategy to reach all stakeholders. A major achievement was the development of an online ESS tool that has registered over 5 000 data users and witnessed over 10 000 active data sessions. Efforts ensured research quality and that data and metadata from participating countries are presented to all end users in the same format. Overall, European academics, researchers and policymakers will gain access to high-quality data through more user-friendly online tools. The improvements and coordination efforts are useful for stakeholders. Dissemination was carried out through publications and events, as well as through the European Survey Research Association (ESRA). The project's work will ensure the continuity of the ESS and help consolidate its achievements by establishing a valuable, accessible and transparent mechanism for assessing the shifting values of Europeans.

Keywords

Social surveys, trends, attitude shifts, European Social Survey, ESS-DACE

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