In the first half of 2016, the Századvág Foundation conducted a public opinion poll survey extending to all 28 member states of the European Union and aimed at analysing the opinions of EU citizens regarding the issues that most affect the future of the union. By presenting these results last year, we attempted to reflect the drivers behind these shifts in order to shed light on what EU citizens think about the continent’s present and future, and what answers and solutions they expect with respect to the challenges continuously facing the European Union. This surveys had a broader scope than any conducted thus far, canvassing 1,000 randomly selected adults in each of the countries, making for a total of 28,000 respondents.
Deemed among the most important objectives of the analysis was to gain an understanding of society’s sense of prosperity and the population’s attitudes in relation to the European Union’s performance, the migration crisis and increasing terrorism. The results were first published by the Századvág Foundation in June 2016, with the details of the study presented as part of a comprehensive conference in Budapest.
Europe continues to face key changes today, and its geopolitical and strategic position has altered significantly. At the same time, examining European attitudes may well be a more relevant undertaking now than at any time in the past. It was for this reason that, commissioned by the Hungarian government, the Századvág Foundation conducted further research in the spring of 2017 to reflect the most crucial topics of Europe’s political and social discourse, such as the interrelationships between the migration crisis, the connection between illegal immigration and increasing terrorism, the economic performance of the EU, the confidence in institutions and the effects of globalization.
In addressing these major issues, it is of special importance to be clear about the fact and extent of change, and the underlying processes driving it. Therefore, the 2017 survey was conducted according to the same methodology as previously (28 countries, with 1,000 randomly selected adults from each country surveyed using the CATI [computer-assisted telephone interviewing] technique) so that the results can be examined and interpreted in the context of changes arising over the intervening time period.
We believe that the results of our research can also serve as a barometer for use in political discussions related to the renewal of Europe and the future of the European Union.