EGPP’s main research activity is organized around a number of core research projects housed in and led from the programme, sometimes in collaboration with international research institutions. In addition, the programme includes external hosted projects of international research institutions and other EUI research units relevant for EGPP’s research themes. Currently, EGPP runs numerous projects on how European governance structures address the Covid-19 emergency through various policies and the impact of the health crisis on European politics, economy and society.
European Parliament Political Groups and European Integration
European political parties have been the object of keen interest in academic literature, as important actors in the European Community’s and subsequently in the European Union’s development. Up until recently, European political groups have not been the focus of comparable attention, although they have a distinctive role as part of the more complex organisational structures of European political parties.
In collaboration with the EGPP, the ADGRC plans on extending this research to other groups of the European Parliament, for a better understanding of the European party system.
The Politics of Technocratic Governance in Europe
This project investigates the politics of technocratic governance in Europe in the context of its challenge to representative democracy and its role as a corrective to the populist delegitimation of elites, expertise and pluralism. At the same time, it addresses the tension between supra-national technocratic governance and national democratic politics in the European multi-level structure. A focus on actors at the level of citizens, parties and institutions allows to analyse the politics of who supports, for what reasons and through which means technocratic governance.
EUI-YouGov ‘Solidarity in Europe’ project
Since 2018, the EUI and YouGov are monitoring the development of Solidarity in Europe through a representative, large-N annual survey. The latest version of the survey, covering now 13 EU member states and the UK, was conducted in April 2020 at the height of the Corona pandemic in Europe. As in the two earlier renditions of the survey (2018, 2019), it explores how support for European solidarity varies by issue, instrument and by member state. The project produces high-level research outputs, and will replicate and expand the survey in the upcoming years.
DiCE – Differentiation: Clustering Excellence
Differentiation: Clustering Excellence (DiCE) is a Horizon2020-funded project, which started in January 2020 and will run for three years. Its main objective is to ensure that state-of-the-art research on differentiation is translated into policy advice and made accessible to policy-makers at European, national and regional levels. The ultimate goal is to better prepare the EU for various scenarios of differentiated integration.
InDivEU – Integrating Diversity in the European Union
Integrating Diversity in the European Union (InDivEU) is a Horizon 2020 funded project that will start in January 2019 and run for three years. Its main objective is to provide Europe’s policy makers with an important knowledge hub on ‘Differentiated Integration’.
The InDivEU project aims to contribute concretely to the current debate on the ‘Future of Europe’ by re-assessing, developing and testing a range of models and scenarios for different levels of integration among EU member states.
Spaceu2019 – Helping EU mobile citizens to exercise their political rights in the 2019 EP Elections
Spaceu2019 is an online tool for the 2019 European Parliamentary (EP) Elections, specifically tailored for mobile EU citizens. it is an interactive database informing users on their electoral rights and to allow them to compare the conditions and requirements for participating in the political process of their country of residence or citizenship. The project is funded by an EC Action Grant under the Programme ‘Rights, Equality and Citizenship 2014-2020’.
euandi2019 – Find your party in the 2019 European elections
euandi2019 is a European-wide Voting Advice Application (VAA) helping citizens make an informed choice in the 2019 EP elections. Available in 23 languages, euandi2019 invites users to react to 22 policy statements covering a wide range of contemporary policy issues and political values in European politics. euandi2019 reached the record number of 1.28 million users who completed the questionnaire before the European Parliament elections. For the third consecutive time after the European elections in 2009 and 2014, the EUI helped citizens find which party best matches their preferences in their country as well as across Europe.
EU Macro-economic Coordination and its (De)legitimation in the EU’s Parliamentary Space
The EU recovery fund has already been praised as a major step of European integration. Yet, it might pose negative consequences for representative democracy in the EU, as it only marginally associates the European Parliament with the implementation of the scheme while affording the European Commission an even stronger influence over the budgetary competences of domestic parliaments. This project examines the degree to which discourse and practices about financial solidarity and the democratic legitimacy of macroeconomic coordination in the EU have been shared and contested among domestic parliamentary actors in Germany, France, Italy and The Netherlands during the Eurozone and Covid-19 crises.
Coping with Covid-19: A Comparative Political Economy Analysis of European Policy Responses
The Covid-19 pandemic has triggered unprecedented economic decline in advanced economies, often exacerbating challenges inherited from previous crises. However, the policy responses to these common pressures in the initial ‘fast burning’ phase of the Covid-19-induced recession vary significantly across countries. This project uses a comparative political economy approach to make sense of this variation within the EU and to derive relevant policy implications. It aims to generate insights about the preconditions for effective policy responses to sudden shocks.
First, we map systematically the responses enacted during the first wave of the pandemic (February–-September 2020) in the fields of macro-economic (monetary and fiscal) and micro-economic (labour market and business support) policy across selected EU countries. Second, we conduct a cross-country comparative analysis of policy responses. We deploy configurational comparative methods to identify the determinants of policy variation, considering the interplay between institutional, economic, ideological and political factors.
Project leaders: Arianna Tassinari and Sebastian Diessner
Democracy in lockdown: What role for the European Parliament in the Covid-19 crisis?
The Covid-19 crisis poses a particular problem for parliamentary democracy: how to uphold the main democratic principles if parliamentarians cannot meet? Internally, assemblies need to adapt to a sudden process of digitalisation and remote participation; externally, the crisis disrupts legislative processes and the capacity to shape policy. This is all the more noticeable on the European Union (EU) level, where crises often lead to a competition for leadership between executive and legislative powers.
In view of the challenges that Covid-19 poses to European democracy, the project asks: How has the Covid-19 crisis affected the principles of representation, deliberation and accountability in European Union policy-making? The project will initiate a debate about how the European Parliament can tailor EU priorities, to what extent it can help regain a focus on European rather than national crisis-solving mechanisms and how to use the new digital environment to maximise its voice(s).
Project leader: Ariadna Ripoll Servent
Driving Us Further Apart? The Impact of Social Media on Political Attitudes toward Covid-19 Policies
As European governments cautiously proclaim to have the Covid-19 pandemic under control, the political debate on whether the response was appropriate has gained pace. Some think the response excessively hurt the economy and infringed on people’s personal freedom, while others maintain that the response was appropriate and highlighted the benefits of an interventionist state. Will Covid-19 give rise to a new political consensus, or will it instead amplify existing political divides?
Recognising that an increasing number of Europeans use social media to get news about politics, this project will run a cross-country online experiment to examine how exposure to social media news about Covid-19 policies affects support for these policies and related political divides. Social media platforms are increasingly facing scrutiny to ensure that they do not increase political divisions. Our project will contribute to the pressing need for more knowledge on the effects of social-media-news use on political attitudes.
Project leaders: Klarita Gerxhani and Jakob Boggild Johannsen
Narrating Covid-19: How Europe as Union Fares
The aim of this comparative study is analyse how ‘Europe’ and the ‘EU’ featured in the extraordinary voluminous narrative about Covid-19 in a selected number of seven Member States and at the EU level, since Covid-19 became the dominant issue facing the EU and its member states in a very short time frame. The research question is threefold: How was Europe and the EU framed during the crisis in the national context? How did the EU collectively sought to frame its own role during the crisis? How did domestic actors sought to influence public opinion in other member states during the crisis?
The text analysis will cover the acute phase of the pandemics (Februarly-July 2020) and will consist in a mix of automated text analysis tools (Structural Topic Models) and manual coding, which will result – in addition to the comparative output – to one report per country.
Project leaders: Brigid Laffan, Tobias Widmann, Anja Thomas and Lorenzo Cicchi
TRANSNATIONAL seeks to explain the intensity of polarisation on immigration, Europe, and climate change. It will combine insights from political cleavage theory with those on identity theory and social networks to examine transnational polarisation through surveys, natural experiments, and interviews. The research is funded by a five-year advanced ERC grant to Liesbet Hooghe which starts in January 2021. The project leaders are Liesbet Hooghe and Gary Marks.
Chapel Hill Expert Surveys
The Chapel Hill expert surveys (CHES) estimate party positioning on European integration, ideology and policy issues for national parties in a variety of European countries. The first survey was conducted in 1999, with subsequent waves in 2002, 2006, 2010, and 2014. Questions on parties’ general position on European integration, several EU policies, general left/right, economic left/right, and social left/right are common to all surveys. More recent surveys also contain questions on non-EU policy issues, such as immigration, redistribution, decentralization, and environmental policy.
The European Commission: Where now? Where next?
This project examines the impact and implications of the reshaping of the College and the new ways of working introduced by the Juncker Commission. Like the two earlier studies conducted by the team, The European Commission in Question, and The European Commission: Facing the Future, it investigates leadership, coordination and the internal operation of the institution, and also profiles the backgrounds, beliefs, and experience of the people who work for it.
With data of unique scale and scope collected over three Commissions, the project is able to track changes in the organisation, as well as evolution in the values and attitudes of its staff.
The team is led by Hussein Kassim, and Sara Connolly, both University of East Anglia, and includes Michael W. Bauer, German University of Administrative Sciences Speyer, Pierre Bocquillon, University of East Anglia, Renaud Dehousse, EUI, Brigid Laffan, EUI, and Professor Andrew Thompson, University of Edinburgh.
Understanding the EU Civil Service: the General Secretariat of the Council
Serving both the European Council and the Council of the European Union, the Council Secretariat plays a pivotal role in the EU system, but is also the most secretive and reclusive part of the administration. The first project undertaken by external researchers to be informed by systematic data collected within the organisation, this study gathered insights from staff at all levels and in all roles about the operation of the Council Secretariat and the people who work for it.
This project also studies organisational issues of leadership, coordination, and administrative culture, as well as the backgrounds, careers and values of staff. Using the same approach of online survey, interviews and focus groups as in its projects on the European Commission, the team is able to compare the different parts of the EU administration.
The team, led by Hussein Kassim, and Sara Connolly, both University of East Anglia, includes Michael W. Bauer, German University of Administrative Sciences Speyer, Renaud Dehousse, EUI, Brigid Laffan, EUI, and Professor Andrew Thompson, University of Edinburgh.
Website: Understanding the EU Civil Service
Data Portal on Political Conflict and Protest in Europe
The Observatory for Political Conflict and Democracy (PolDem) is a platform that produces and houses data on protest events, election campaigns, and issue-specific public contestation covering a wide-range of European countries over a long period of time. The platform developed as an extension of previous as well as ongoing projects by the principal investigators Hanspeter Kriesi at the European University Institute (the ERC project POLCON and the ERC Synergy Project SOLID), and Edgar Grande and Swen Hutter at the Center for Civil Society Research, a joint initiative by the WZB Social Science Center and Freie Universität Berlin.
PolDem aims to update and disseminate data within the scientific community and wider public, and to provide users with the relevant documentation, codebooks, and tools to interpret the data. The Observatory provides interactive data exploration and analysis tools, as well as the methodology and codebooks used for data generation and analysis. All of the datasets come with extensive documentation and are regularly updated. Additionally, the website provides online interactive downloading tools and R tools to aid the analysis of the different datasets.
Among the datasets hosted on the platform you can find:
• Protest event data in 30 countries
• Election campaign data in 15 countries
• Public debates data in 6 countries
• Contentious episodes data in 12 countries
OEI – Observatory of European Institutions: a Dataset on the Decision-making Process in the EU (1996-2014)
The European Union’s (EU) institutional system is a key element of EU policy-making, as it influences both the adoption and implementation of joint decisions. However, it remains ill understood. In order to remedy this weakness in international research on the EU, the Centre for European Studies and Comparative Politics of Sciences Po (CEE) and the Robert Schuman Center for Advanced Studies launched the Observatory of European Institutions (OEI) with a specific focus on the political decision in the EU.
The OEI hosts original data on all legislative acts adopted by EU Institutions from 1996 to 2014. The Observatory aims at a better understanding of the political process through an innovative and wide-coverage database. For each adopted legislative act, about 100 variables are collected, each of them providing detail on the decision making in the EU and its Member States. The Observatory values comparative approaches. The dataset allows for an in-depth analysis of each policy sector. All in all, the information in the Observatory opens up a number of new research opportunities such as the impact of new Treaties, institutional reforms or the ongoing economic and political crisis, on each policy sector. The project leaders are Olivier Rozenberg, Renaud Dehousse, Selma Bendjaballah and Stéphanie Novak.
The general framework of the OEI is explained and discussed in this paper. For a French version of this paper, see this article published in the journal Politique européenne in 2017. For an example of use of the data set, see a working paper published in 2018 in Les Cahiers européens de Sciences Po.
Stéphanie Novak Olivier Rozenberg &Selma Bendjaballah, , Enduring consensus: why the EU legislative process stays the same, Journal of European Integration (2020)
Data can be accessed from Sciences Po data center, le Centre de données socio-politiques (CDSP).
Perilous Populism – When Pollsters are Wrong and Lobbyists Win: Economic Sociology and Political Economy
The objective is to understand how and why lobbying undermines voting, what the implications are for populist political movements and what can be done about it. We employ methods of economic sociology: the study of self-organising groups make collective decisions to provide public goods – such as votes or lobbying effort – using peer monitoring and punishments such as ostracism to provide individual incentives. It is based on standard economic theory including mechanism design and auction theory.
The project has yielded many new theoretical insights including the discovery that making lobbying more costly may disadvantage larger groups more than smaller groups and so serve against the common interest rather promoting it. We have explored implications for lobbying effort, voter turnout, uncertainty over outcomes and the relative strength of small and large groups. We are now advancing to the empirical stage examining expressive voting and analysing voting data to determine whether – as the theory predicts – if we see substantial bi-modality in voter turnout. The scientific output of the project together with essays designed to bring our results to a broader audience can be found at the project website.
While the focus of the project is not specifically European the implications are important in a European setting and we will be writing essays and commentary discussing implications for European political movements and policy making. This project, managed by David Levine, and Andrea Mattozzi of the EUI and Salvatore Modica of Palermo University, is sponsored by the Robert Schuman Centre, the EUI Research Council, the ADEMU project and the Fondazione i Cinquecento.
REDO – Referendums & European Democracy Observatory
The debate about whether the EU’s representative institutions have a democratic deficit is now matched by national political systems having a democratic surplus. European citizens are voting on EU issues in national referendums as well as for national representatives in the multi-national European Parliament. Since 2014 absolute majorities of voters have been rejecting policies approved by their national government as well as by EU institutions.
REDO’s purpose is to further the understanding of challenges to European democracy by undertaking scientific research into what’s causing the demand for referendums; public opinion and voting in referendums; and how the EU is responding to referendum demands and outcomes. We do this by monitoring what’s happening in EU member and associated states; public opinion polls and social media; and scientific and political debates about whether and how referendums ought to affect European public policy. REDO combines the knowledge and experience of three leading referendum scholars – Richard Rose; Centre for the Study of Public Policy, Fernando Mendez, C2D Zurich; and Laurence Morel, Sciences Po Paris – and their associates. The programme is based at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies and through partner institutions and our European network of social scientists.
The general intellectual framework of REDO is explained and discussed in the article “Referendum Challenges to the EU’s policy Legitimacy – and how the EU responds” by Richard Rose, forthcoming in the Journal of European Public Policy. An open access, proof only version of the article can be found here. A selection of proceedings from the workshop “The Referendum Challenge to the European Union”, organised jointly by REDO and EGPP in January 2018, can be found here:
- Types of Democratic Elections in Europe by Richard Rose
- Referendum Outcomes as an Input to European Decisions by Richard Rose
- Testing Theories of Who Supports Referendums by Richard Rose
- Would a Second Brexit Referendum be Legitimate – and if so, When? by Richard Bellamy
- Brexit and Competing Visions of Europe: Searching for an answer to Dean Acheson’s Question? by Tim Oliver
- Saying what voters want to hear about the EU? by Konstantin Vössing
- The Economic Consequences of Brexit by Paul Whiteley, Harold D. Clarke and Matthew Goodwin
A Centralisation of Rule-making in Europe? The Legal and Political Governance of the Financial Market
Completed: 2017 – 2020
The research produced insights on the evolution of regulatory structures in EU financial governance. We provide a comprehensive framework to investigate the dynamics leading to centralisation, decentralisation and fragmentation in EU financial regulation. This generalizable theoretical account was subject to an empirical assessment on the basis of major EU legislative packages in financial regulation, including the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II and Capital Markets Union. We found centralization in rulemaking, but decentralization and fragmentation during the implementation of the rules.
SOLID: Policy Crisis and Crisis Politics
The SOLID project aims to provide an original general theory of political crisis through the study of the several crises that have hit the EU in the last decade. In doing so, it aims to understand how the severe crisis situation can go together with resilience from the EU. Covering developments since 2009, SOLID aims at assessing the overall soundness of the EU’s foundations in the wake of the political crisis. The SOLID project is currently engaged in several data collection efforts on the coronavirus crisis: among these, a representative two-wave panel survey was conducted online by IPSOS on 28-30 March and 15-17 April 2020.