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Value preferences and political trends in Central and Eastern Europe

Sara Kurfess / Unsplash
Sara Kurfess / Unsplash

The consensus on the content and binding nature of European values is increasingly being called into question in the EU. The IEP analyses the causes and effects of this divergence of values in the four Visegrád states as well as Romania and Slovenia.

Disputes about the content and binding nature of the European community of values seem to increase regularly and now also limit the European Union's ability to act. The recent negotiations on the new multi-annual financial framework and the controversies in European asylum and migration policy that have been going on for several years are just a few vivid examples.

Against this background, the Institut für Europäische Politik is conducting a study on the causes and effects of value divergence in the four Visegrád states as well as Romania and Slovenia on behalf of the Planning Staff of the Federal Foreign Office.

In a first step, the study examines for the period 2004 to 2020 whether and to what extent the values and concepts of order represented by citizens, parties and governments in the countries under investigation diverge from the values of the European Union according to Art. 2 TEU. In a second step, scientific approaches are empirically tested to explain this value divergence. In a third step, the consequences of this development for European integration are examined. To this end, the following four research questions will be answered:

  • Which value and order concepts are represented by parties and governments in the countries studied?
  • What are the values and concepts of order held by citizens?
  • How can divergences from European values (according to Art. 2 TEU) be explained?
  • What are the implications for European policy and integration?

To answer the research questions, the IEP will conduct an online survey among citizens and an expert survey in the six countries. In addition, existing databases on party political positions and published survey data will be analysed.

The results will be published in the form of a study and a policy paper that will provide recommendations on how the EU institutions and the German government can address the divergence of values within the EU. Accompanying this, the results will be presented visually in a country profile for each of the six countries studied.


Duration: 30 November 2020 – 31 August 2021
Image copyright: Sara Kurfess / Unsplash