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EU Coalition Explorer

Rethink: Europe
October 2018

The EU Coalition Explorer presents the results of the EU28 survey conducted by the European Council on Foreign Relations in the 28 member states of the European Union. It illustrates the expert opinions of 877 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 centre – or centres – from which a more capable and cohesive European Union can be built.

UPDATE: The 2018 edition of the EU28 Survey ran from 24 April to 12 June 2018. The EU Coalition Explorer 2018 was published on 30 October, 2018. 

Download the EU Coalition Explorer 2018 (PDF 75.1 MB, Version 1.10 uploaded on 13 November 2018)

Download the Eu Coalition Explorer

We recommend downloading the EU Coalition Explorer and opening it in Adobe Acrobat Reader. In-document navigation may not work when viewing the document in your browser.


See the instructions how to navigate the the EU Coalition Explorer. (Click on the images below to see a preview.)



What is the EU Coalition Explorer?

The EU Coalition Explorer is an interactive data explorer presenting the results of ECFR’s EU28 Survey on coalition building in the EU. It is an open resource to explore the survey results for the EU as a whole, selected country groups, and for individual member states. The 2018 edition is structured in three main chapters: Preferences, Influence, Policies & Partners. The Explorer illustrates the expert opinions of 877 professionals who work on European policy in governments, politics, think tanks, academia, and the media.


How do I use the explorer?

The EU Coalition Explorer can be read page by page or by browsing its content using the hyper-linked menus on each page. The menu along the bottom of the page displays the explorer’s central chapters. By clicking on ‘Chapters’ you can jump directly to any of the 12 survey questions. Sub menus on the left allow for browsing of the detailed results from each chapter. Download more detailed instructions on how to navigate the the EU Coalition Explorer as a PDF here, or watch the Youtube video here.


Why did you conduct a survey on EU coalition building?

Europe's capacity to act collectively has become an increasingly critical issue as both the importance of intergovernmental decision making and the level of political fragmentation have grown over the past years. Against this backdrop a debate has started in member state capitals and the EU at large, as to how the Union can evolve and move forward. The survey and the presentation of its results aim to inform this debate on how a more capable and cohesive EU can be built.


Why are coalitions important?

A multi-speed Europe of differentiated integration with a progressive core and an associated periphery could serve as a template for future cooperation and solidarity within the EU and Europe at large. With our survey and the EU Coalition Explorer we want to present the coalition potentials between European countries - the ones that already exist and those that may have been overlooked due to lack of data and accessible visualization.


Why did you invite “experts” to answer the questions?

The label “expert” is intentionally used to describe our survey. In contrast to public opinion polls with national representative samples, our survey aims to capture the expertise of policy professionals. In the debate on the future of Europe the views of Europe’s political class – the professionals inside and outside government who work directly on policy or follow politics as expert observers – are central for understanding the dynamics that shape cooperation in the EU.


How and when was the survey conducted?

We used an anonymous online questionnaire in which every question was mandatory to complete the survey. The invitations were sent by email to foreign ministries, government and parliament offices, think tanks, research institutions, journalists and other organisations working on European affairs. On our request, a number of recipient institutions and individuals distributed the invitation within their professional networks or departments. The 2018 Survey edition ran from 24 April to 12 June 2018 and included 20 standardized questions. The 2016 Survey edition  opened shortly after the British referendum on EU membership in late June 2016 and closed in mid-September 2016.


Can I access the survey data?

Our complete data set can be accessed free of charge. If you would like to use our data for your work please cite as follows: “EU Coalition Explorer, European Council on Foreign Relations, October 2018”

Download the data set 2018
Download the data set 2016



Publications & Downloads


EU Coalition Explorer 2018

Interactive PDF (71 MB). Navigation and viewing experience optimised for Adobe Acrobat.



EU Coalition Explorer: data set 2018

Zip-file with the expert and public survey data from the EU28 Survey.




EU Coalition Explorer 2016

Interactive PDF (61.5 MB). Navigation and viewing experience optimised for Adobe Acrobat.



EU Coalition Explorer: data set 2016

Zip-file with the expert and public survey data from the EU28 Survey.



Cover: The invisible web – from interaction to coalition-building in the EU

The invisible web
from interaction to coalition-building in the EU

by Josef Janning & Christel Zunneberg- 22th May, 2017

Survey of experts in 28 capitals illuminates the complex network of relationships among EU member states.


EU28 Survey 2015 data

Download a presentation of the 2015 data from the EU28 Survey.



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