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Politics and International Relations (PIR): News


EU Commission President Celebrates Edinburgh Politics/IR Research

A ‘once in a generation’ attitudinal survey of the European Commission

The President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso has celebrated the Commission’s participation in a research project being led jointly by Prof. John Peterson in the Department of Politics and International Relations.

The European Commission of the 21st Century project has resulted in a ‘once in a generation’ attitudinal survey of the European Commission.  Between September 2008 and November 2009 the international team of researchers including Prof. John Peterson and Prof. Andy Thompson at the University of Edinburgh surveyed around 4,500 Commission staff and interviewed over 200 more.  The project’s Principal Investigator is Prof. Hussein Kassim of the University East Anglia. Its partners include Free University of Amsterdam, Sciences Po (Paris), and the University of Konstanz.

President Barroso expressed his enthusiasm for the project and the value of its results:

‘The 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.

The project was launched within the framework of the EU Consent Network of Excellence and has been generously supported by the ESRC.  The resulting dataset will provide primary source material for an original and detailed analysis of the Commission as an international administration.  A co-authored book with Oxford University Press and selected journal articles are planned for 2010-2011.

For more information about the project please contact Louise Maythorne:

University of Edinburgh project site:

University of East Anglia project site:


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