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.

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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 European Union. It is an open resource to explore the survey results for the EU as a whole, selected country groups, and for individual member states. It is structured in four main chapters: Preferences, Influence, Partners, and Policies.


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 17 survey questions. Sub menus on the left allow for browsing of the detailed results from each chapter.


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 European Union 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 European Union 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 organizations working on European affairs. On our request, a number of recipient institutions and individuals distributed the invitation within their professional networks or departments. The survey 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, May 2017"


Download the data set

Browse country data



Publications & Downloads

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.



EU Coalition Explorer

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


EU Coalition Explorer: data set

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



EU Coalition Explorer: Extended Country Findings

Download extended findings as a zip-file or individually for Denmark, Finland, France, Germany,
Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, UK

Download .zip file


EU28 Survey 2015 data

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




Related readings




Browse Country Chapters from the EU Coalition Explorer