Mass Vs Elites: the REScEU survey

This infographic series presents the main results obtained from an elite survey conducted in the framework of the ERC funded REScEU project. The aim of the survey was to understand MPs' attitudes towards policies and initiatives aimed at strengthening the social dimension of the EU and understand their views about the nature of the multifaceted European crisis.


This infographic series presents the main results obtained from an elite survey conducted in the framework of the ERC funded REScEU project.

The survey was targeted on a sample of representatives in the national parliaments of seven European countries: France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Country samples were designed in order to be as most representatives as possible of the actual composition of the national parliaments in terms of partisan affiliation.

The survey was conducted between March 2017 and May 2018 adopting the CAWI (Computer Assisted Web Interviews) method.

The aim of the survey was:

Furthermore, the survey also measures MPs’ political orientations, international profile and networking activities, political background and socio-demographic status.

The infographics show cross-country and cross-partisan distributions of frequencies of the political elites’ attitudes and make mass-elite comparisons that allow us to analyse similarities and differences between the opinions of the representatives and their electorate.

It does so by comparing the results of this survey to those of a public opinion survey conducted by the REScEU project in the same seven countries in September-November 2016.

A full report presenting all the most important results of the REScEU elite survey will be published before the 2019 European elections.

Mass Vs Elites: the REScEU survey #espisodes
Mass Vs Elites: the REScEU survey #espisodes

Mass Vs Elites #1: the mission of the EU

Ensuring fiscal stability or social protection. What should the top priority for the EU be?

Read episode #1

Mass Vs Elites #2: should EU member states help one another?

Conditionality, solidarity or national self-responsibility? What should the guiding principle of the EU be?

Read episode #2

Mass Vs Elites #3: Who should access the domestic labour market and welfare state?

Differently from our previous observations about the mission of the EU and the support for international financial solidarity among member states in times of crisis, political elites are much more likely to support freedom of movement, compared to the voters they represent.

Read episode #3

Mass Vs Elites #4: The benefits of EU-membership

Overall, more than eight MPs out of ten believe that their countries have benefited from EU membership. However, in six countries masses appear to be more sceptical than elites about the benefits the EU has brought.

Read episode #4

Mass Vs Elites #5: Images of the EU

At the aggregate level, slightly less than 40% of MPs opt for the image of a "common house" when asked how they would picture the EU.

Read episode #5

Mass Vs Elites #6: Elites' take on the nature and solutions of the EU crisis

At the aggregate level, the majority of MPs believes that the nature of the post-2008 crisis is both political and economic. Turning to the possible solutions of the current European crisis, interesting cross-country and cross-partisan differences appear.

Read episode #6

Mass Vs Elites #7: Elites evaluate Germany's role during the crisis

Being the largest member state and biggest economy of the EU, Germany has played an important role during the crisis. We asked MPs of 7 EU countries if Berlin acted more like a "self-interested hegemon", or a "solidaristic leader".

Read episode #7

Mass Vs Elites #8: European leaders in the eyes of national elites

Following the analysis of elites' opinion relative to the behaviour of Germany during the Euro crisis, we gauged MPs' feelings towards some European leaders who played, or are still playing, a relevant role in the current multidimensional crisis of the EU.

Read episode #8

Mass Vs Elites #9: Pan-European solidarity - which way forward? (part 1)

The REScEU Mass and Elite surveys do not only tap individuals' and MPs' general attitudes towards integration and solidarity, but also gauge mass and elites' preferences for specific policies aimed at fostering pan-European solidarity.

Read episode #9

Mass Vs Elites #10: Pan-European solidarity - which way forward? (part 2)

Six MPs out of ten in our pooled sample are in favour of the introduction of Eurobonds, a figure slightly higher than what is observed among voters (56%). However, in Germany, Poland, and Sweden, a clear majority of MPs (70% on average) does not support the introduction of Eurobonds.

Read episode #10

Mass Vs Elites #11: Pan-European solidarity - which way forward? (part 3)

In the context of Brexit and rising Euroscepticism across the continent that has focused on (mis)interpretations of the effects of labour mobility, the question of a European Social Union cannot sidestep the East-West chasm and treat the Eurozone as its only priority.

Read episode #11

Photo credits Page cover image Mass Vs Elites: European People’s PartyMartin Kraft feat. Alexander Damiano Ricci

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«As shown by a 2017 Eurobarometer survey, despite longstanding problems, a majority of Europeans (56%) are optimistic about the future of the EU and trust in the EU continues to rise, standing at 42% (36% in autumn 2016)»