Changes of perceptions of the EU by elites and citizens of the EU member states (2004-2018)


The main goal of the project is to reveal and analyze the evolution of attitudes’ of Lithuanian political, administrative, media elites and general public towards the EU identity and governance during 2004 – 2018. This study seeks to investigate the transformations of academic discourse, critical assessments and concepts of the EU as the political, economic and social project as well as to forecast alternative scenarios of EU developments. The principal research objects are changing attitudes within the member states’ elites and society towards the European Union: gaps between the political elites and general public (democratic deficit), variations among the elite segments, ideologies and demographic characteristic in different European regions. The main distinctiveness of project is rooted in the novelty of data (4th wave of Parliamentary elite research forthcoming in 2016, research of Lithuanian administrative and media elites)  and in all-encompassing analysis approach including available Lithuanian and European data collections on similar topics as well as the input of other European partners.
Project results
The Lithuanian national dataset has been developed, incorporating data from the longitudinal study of the national elites’ (political, economic, trade union, media, high – level state administrative) and public opinion attitudes. On the basis of this research a series of academic articles (in English and in Lithuanian) and a collective monograph have been published (in Lithuanian). Systemic files (SPSS .sav) with the empirical data from the project are deposited to the Lithuanian national data archive (LiDA) with the free access for the academic purposes (the “quarantine” period extends to 2019 summer). The results of the project have been presented to the Lithuanian and international academic community, to several interest groups in Lithuania (Lithuanian Confederation of Industrialists, Lithuanian Foreign Affairs ministry, European Information Center at the European Parliament and European Commission representations in Lithuania, European information bureau at the Chancellery of the Lithuanian Seimas, etc.) as well as to the general public in national media sources (TV, radio and internet based info portals).
The disseminated research results contribute to Europeanziation of the Lithuanian public discourse and provide evidence based arguments against (slowly, but surely) growing Euroscepticism in the country. The comparative research insights from the project enrich political, civic and academic arguments pertaining to the EU debates (on European defense and security policies; on European social solidarity instruments; on supra-nationalization of public policies, etc.). During the implementation of the project strong partnership with Vilmorus, leading public opinion and market research company in Vilnius, has been established.  
To read monography please click here.
Project duration: 2015 – 2018
Project  Budget: 99,925 EUR
Project Manager: Professor Dr. Irmina Matonytė
Project partners: Corvinus University of Budapest (Hungary), Friedrich Schiller University of Jena (Germany), University of Almeria (Spain), University of Paris (Sorbonne, France).
Funding: Lithuanian Research Council programme "Researcher teams’ projects"