EU Coalition Explorer

Author (Person)
Publication Date October 2018
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The EU Coalition Explorer presents the results of the EU28 survey conducted by ECFR in the 28 member states of the European Union. It illustrates the expert opinions of several hundred respondents who work on European policy in governments and think tanks. The explorer creates a visual understanding of the views held by Europe’s professional political class – information that otherwise is not available to policy makers or the public.

In four chapters on preferences, influence, partners and policies, the EU Coalition Explorer shows the potential for future coalition building between the EU member states. The document can be used as an interactive tool to locate the EU’s political center – or centers – from which a more capable and cohesive European Union can be built.

The further development of Europe depends on the building of efficient coalitions – whether legally binding or informally arranged – through which new political initiatives for ‘more Europe’ can be effectively put into practice.

The expert EU28 Survey illustrates the complex network of relationships among EU member states; particularly closely interlinked with other member states are Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Poland, the Netherlands, and Sweden. This same grouping of eight member states are also ranked high for their ‘influence on EU policy’ and are named most frequently by others as ‘important partners’.

However, the coalition geometry varies depending on the policy field, so that there are several political centres when looking at foreign policy or defence policy, at fiscal policy or economic and social policy.

From these coalition centres, initiatives for building coalitions emerge. Countries in the centre will try to bring in the member states with which they are connected, and build majorities.

The EU28 Survey

The EU28 Survey was a bi-annual expert poll conducted by ECFR in the 28 member states of the European Union. The study surveyed the cooperation preferences and attitudes of European policy professionals working in governments, politics, think tanks, academia, and the media to explore the potential for coalitions among EU member states. The 2018 edition of the EU28 Survey ran from 24 April to 12 June 2018. 730 respondents completed the questions.

The full results of the survey, including the data and its interactive visualisation, were published on 30 October 2018. The project was part of ECFR’s Rethink: Europe initiative on cohesion and cooperation in the EU, funded by Stiftung Mercator.

Source Link
Related Link(s)
ECFR: Policy Brief, May 2017: The invisible web – from interaction to coalition-building in the EU
ESO: Background information: A Europe of Clusters
ESO: Background information: Creating a ‘multi-speed Europe’ would divide the EU and diminish it as a foreign policy actor (EuroppBlog, April 2017)
ECFR: Commentary, 17.08.17: An interconnected outlier: the unaccounted costs of Brexit
ECFR: Commentary, 16.08.17: What are the dynamics between EU heavyweights in the face of Brexit?
ECFR: Commentary, 01.08.18: Mimicking membership: London’s need for a new coalition-building strategy
ECFR: Commentary, 26.07.18: The 'more Europe' core four
ECFR: Commentary, 25.10.18: Brothers in arms: Poland and Hungary seek to transform the EU

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Countries / Regions