ESS celebrates 10 years of being an ERIC

The European Social Survey (ESS) celebrates 10 years of becoming a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC). Following an application to the European Commission, which was submitted by the UK on behalf of 14 other countries including the Czech Republic, the ESS was awarded ERIC status on 30 November 2013. A European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) is a specific legal form that facilitates the establishment and operation of Research Infrastructures with European interest.

Pic1_European Social Survey

The European Social Survey provides accurate data about the values, opinions, attitudes and beliefs of Europe’s citizens, being thus a bedrock of hard information, which is both reliable and extensive. Academics, policymakers, representatives of civil society, journalists and the wider public alike might find the academically rigorous cross-national datasets considerably useful. The ESS data collected since 2002 is available to view or download for free following a simple registration.

The legal form of the European research infrastructure consortium (ERIC), established much simpler than in the case of the standard international organisation, enables the consortium to bring together EU Member States, Associated Countries, third countries or international organisations, ensuring thus rather robust support of the consortium’s involved parties. Another benefits, including certain tax exemptions, are at place within the framework of this legal form. Following the move to ERIC status, the ESS was named as a Landmark Research Infrastructure by the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) on three consecutive Roadmaps (2016, 2018 and 2021).

Pic2_ ESS – European Research Infrastructure Consortium since 2013

Professor Rory Fitzgerald, Director of the ESS ERIC, said: “I am very proud that the ESS has excelled since becoming a European Research Infrastructure Consortium a decade ago. The infrastructure has gone from strength to strength, and we are really pleased that national participation in the survey has risen above pre-ERIC levels. It is an honour and a privilege that we are able to represent the social sciences amongst other ERICs and, as part of the ESFRI process, are able impart our knowledge and experience to research infrastructures who have ambitions of becoming an ERIC.”

The ESS currently has the highest number of members (28) of any ERIC across all scientific disciplines. ESS ERIC is hosted in the UK and its statutory seat is housed at City, University of London. Czechia participates in the biennial face-to-face interviews elaborated by ESS from the beginning of this extensive survey in 2001. The Czech participation in the survey is coordinated by the CSDA/ESS-CZ large research infrastructure, hosted by the Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, and researches are thus able to use the comparable data of the Czech socio-demographic characteristics and opinions on current social issues (e.g. immigration, climate change, energy, democracy, economic morality, criminal justice, economic justice and social policy).