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European Social Survey (ESS ERIC)
27 April 2021
Modified: 27 April 2021
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European Social SurveyCollects international comparative data about the demographic and social conditions of European societies, political and public preferences of citizens, and changes in social attitudes and action-guiding values.

Provides an opportunity to explore the state of European societies, differences and changes over time between countries and groups of countries.

Its data provide valuable information not only for academics, but also for European and national governments and public policies, and significantly improve our understanding of the social processes in Europe.

Short name ESS ERIC
Name European Social Survey
Official website
Year of foundation 2001
ESFRI project/landmark landmark
Number of member countries 25
Member countries Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland (observer), UK
Guest countries Albania, Denmark, Northern Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Greece, Georgia, Spain
Hungary’s accession 2016
Partner institutions in Hungary Centre for Social Sciences
Public administration representative Tamás Takács
National Research, Development and Innovation Office
Department for Strategy and Institutional Excellence
1077 Budapest, Kéthly Anna tér 1.
Phone: +36 1 896 0503
Professional representative Ságvári Bence
research fellow, Centre for Social Sciences
Membership payments 2015: -
2016: EUR 21,218 (≈ HUF 6.6 million)
2017: EUR 43,710 (≈ HUF 13.5 million)
2018: EUR 21,855 (≈ HUF 7.1 million)
2019: EUR 21,855 (≈ HUF 7.6 million)
2020: EUR 21,855 (≈ HUF 7.9 million)

Benefits of the membership for Hungary

Tradition and innovation: The European Social Survey (ESS) was initiated in 2001 by the European Commission with the aim of gaining comparative data every two years about the demographic and social conditions of European societies, political and public preferences of citizens, and changes in social attitudes and action-guiding values. Hungary has been continuously involved in the ESS since its inception in 2001 and plays an important role in ESS-related initiatives directly supporting the methodological renewal of social science research in Europe.

Methodological excellence: Perhaps the greatest strength – and value – of ESS is that it applies very strict and constantly monitored data collection methodology which has made it one of the methodologically soundest collaborative international endeavours. The indicators characterising the society of the participating countries are developed jointly, using the same methodology, ensuring that survey results are comparable across Europe.

Detecting long-term trends in Hungarian society in European comparison: the research consists of fixed and variable units: thanks to the standard blocks, we have had at our disposal – now for almost two decades – legitimately comparable data series on the main socio-economic characteristics, political and public attitudes and value preferences of the population. At the same time, the question blocks, which vary from wave to wave, provide an opportunity to examine current social phenomena and issues at European level (such as opinions on climate change, energy policy, digitalisation, personal well-being, the understanding of democracy, attitudes towards migration, ageing and the welfare state).

Public good, broad use in social sciences and higher education: ESS data is a scientific public good, freely accessible to all interested parties, researchers, teachers and students, including public administrations and the media. ESS has more than 2500 registered users in Hungary alone, and nearly 200 scientific publications with Hungarian authorship have been published in recent years using ESS data (half of them international publications). In this context, the widespread use of the ESS in higher education is noteworthy: two thirds of registered users are university students; almost all major universities in Hungary use the ESS in social science and methodology courses. Nearly two-thirds of the users (65.3%) are students, about 10% more are PhD students, 16% researchers (college/university professors and research centre scientists), and 9% are representatives of the civil society, government, public policy think-tanks or the private sector.

International embeddedness: the ESS makes a major contribution to embedding domestic social scientists in international research networks. In addition to the researchers directly involved in the European Research Infrastructure, dozens of publications produced in international collaborations on behalf of the ESS demonstrate the importance of the ESS in connecting domestic researchers to international scientific collaborations.

Research frontiers, multidisciplinary topics: in addition to classical social science applications (political science, sociology), it is a source of data for a wide range of medical and health sciences, psychology, labour and economics, geography, ecology, management and innovation research.

Updated: 27 April 2021
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