The University of Edinburgh - EU Consent

Commission Survey

The European Commission of the 21st Century: Views From the Inside

President Barroso expresses his enthusiasm for the project

'Barroso_EUCIQ_website_photoThe Commission of the 21st Century has produced the largest and richest data set on attitudes of Commission officials ever uncovered.  The project's findings will help us make the Commission a more efficient and effective administration that better serves European citizens.  I am also proud of the fact that we have actively assisted an independent and purely scientific study without fear of the results and with a genuine desire to learn more about the overall feelings and motivation of the people that work for this unique organisation'.

Jose Manuel Barroso, January 2010

The survey team

Michael Bauer - University of Konstanz

Renaud Dehouse - Sciences Po, Paris

Liesbet Hooghe - Free University Amsterdam

Hussein Kassim* - University of East Anglia

John Peterson** - University of Edinburgh

Andrew Thompson - University of Edinburgh

This international team of researchers is currently evaluating the results of a comprehensive attitudinal survey of the European Commission.  The aim of this 'once in a generation' exercise' is to gain insight into the life and workings of this distinctive organisation.

Between September 2008 and November 2009 an online survey was distributed to around 4, 500 Commission staff and in-depth interviews were held with over 200 more.  This data will form the basis for an original analysis of the Commission, which will significantly extend our scientific understanding of this unique instiutution.

The survey was not be an opinion poll or a barometer of morale.  It did not seek a snapshot of 'this year's attitudes' within the Commission.  Rather, it sought to gauge how changing internal structures have affected the work of the Commission. 

Put another way, the survey sought to answer the basic question(s):

What is distinctive about the Commission and those who work for it?

It investigated in four primary areas:

  • Demographics  - who are people who work for the Commisison?
  • The Commission as a working environment - what is it like to work for it?
  • The impacts of reform and enlargement - what has changed?
  • The Commission as an executive - how does it relate to other EU institutions?

The project is being conducted within the EU Consent Network of Excellence, funded through the EU's Framework VI Programme.  It is generously supported by a research grant from the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

The results of the research

The survey and interviews have created an original dataset which will provide primary source material for an original and detailed analysis of the Commission as a modern twenty-first century administration.

The results of the project will be presented to stakeholders across the European Commission in 2010.  A multi-authored research monograph for Oxford University Press and selected journal articles are planned for 2010-2011.

Please check back at this website in the near future for further details.

For further information

Please contact:

For further information about the work of WPIV Team 7 within The EU Consent Network of Excellence please click here and here.

For further information about 'The European Commission in Question: Challenge, Change, Performance' project please click here.


* Primary Investigator on ESRC Grant

** Leader, EU Consent Research Team