Covid-19 crisis

Implications and lessons for European social democracy

Policy Study

16/12/2022

The studyCovid-19 crisis: implications and lessons for European social democracy‘ is the summary of the outcomes of a two-year-long joint project, which FEPS and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) conducted with the initial support of Istituto Cattaneo in Bologna, and then successfully concluded with the invaluable help of Kieskompas in Amsterdam.

In late spring 2020, we wanted to investigate the change in attitudes of the citizens within 6 EU member states during and after the COVID pandemic. To do so, there were two waves of surveys that captured the opinions of European citizens in two respective moments (December 2020/January 2021 and October/November 2021). The questionnaires used in both waves contained largely overlapping questions, allowing for an over-time comparison of public opinion on various socioeconomic issues.

The two waves of surveys saw over 6000 people participating in six countries: France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, and Sweden. The results were then analysed accordingly to 13 sociodemographic categories and 63 thematic questions. Thanks to cross-tabulations and analyses of the overlap of the vote propensity, it was possible to extract very specific answers regarding the trends among diverse groups.

The subsequently drafted conclusions were evaluated by FES regional offices, as well as by some of FEPS’ member foundations: Centrum im. Ignacego Daszynskiego, Olaf Palme Center, Fundación Pablo Iglesias and Fundació Rafael Campalans.

The results of the surveys were further discussed at round tables involving 250 politicians, academics and civil society actors. This jointly makes the robust material of 7 reports unique in its richness and representativity. The study is also available in German.


Covid-19 crisis: Implications and lessons for European social democracy – France

In France, the data indicates many different and often polarised opinions. The French public is growing increasingly critical of their government, has a relatively low degree of institutional trust, is divided regarding their country’s membership in the EU, believes that immigrants are a benefit to society and are concerned about climate change

You can read this policy study in German here.


Covid-19 crisis: Implications and lessons for European social democracy – Germany

In Germany, the data indicates that even though there are many different and often polarised opinions among the German electorate, the majority of German citizens are politically moderate, have relatively high confidence in their government, have a high degree of institutional trust, support their country’s membership in the EU, believe that immigrants are a benefit to society and are concerned about climate change

You can read this policy study in German here.


Covid-19 crisis: Implications and lessons for European social democracy – Italy

In Italy, the data indicates many different, often polarised, opinions. The Italian public is largely supportive of the pandemic mitigation measures. However, Italians have a relatively low degree of institutional trust, and less than half of Italian citizens consider their country’s EU membership to be a good thing. Nevertheless, most respondents, especially younger generation cohorts, believe immigrants are a benefit to society and are concerned about climate change.

You can read this policy study in German here.


Covid-19 crisis: Implications and lessons for European social democracy – Poland

In Poland, the data indicate many different, often polarised, opinions. The country is more polarised than other European states: the government and opposition supporters hold diametrically opposed views and values. Nevertheless, when it comes to issues such as climate change and immigration, respondents are more concerned and permissive than is often reported in the news.

You can read this policy study in German here.


Covid-19 crisis: Implications and lessons for European social democracy – Spain

The Spanish dataset points out that even though there are many different, often polarised, opinions, the majority of Spanish citizens are politically moderate, have relatively high confidence in their government, have a high degree of institutional trust, support their country’s membership in the EU, believe that immigrants are a benefit to society and are concerned about climate change

You can read this policy study in German here.


Covid-19 crisis: Implications and lessons for European social democracy – Sweden

In Sweden, the data indicates that even though there are many different and often polarised opinions, the majority of Swedish citizens are politically moderate, have relatively high confidence in their government, have a high degree of institutional trust, believe that immigrants are a benefit to society and are concerned about climate change. Nevertheless, a substantial group of respondents is opposed to the country’s membership in the EU.

You can read this policy study in German here.

We presented these studies on 16 May during a round table at FEPS HQ.

Network
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
KiesKompas
Related events
16/05/2023
FEPS HQ, Brussels (Expert meeting)

Covid-19 crisis: Implications and lessons for European social democracy

Find all related publications
Publications
24/01/2024

Progressive Yearbook 2024

Looking back to look ahead
10/10/2023

Next Left country case studies

Exploring the state of Social Democracy in France, Austria, Romania and Australia
04/10/2023

Social democracy without the people

Case study of the Polish Democratic Left Alliance (SLD)
07/07/2023

Leading the way

Lessons for Labour from Europe
Find all related Progressive Post
Progressive Post
01/02/2024

The bottleneck of the Green Deal

01/02/2024

Practice solidarity and stay engaged – it is that simple

01/02/2024

Progressive industrial policy: an antidote for troubled times

Find all related events
Events
Upcoming
04 - 05/04/2024
Portimão, Portugal

#ProgressivesSpeakUp 2024

School of young politicians on housing
Past
11/01/2024
Torun, Poland

Social democracy without the people? 

Policy study launch
24/01/2024
FEPS HQ

Progressive Yearbook launch

Find all related news
News
19/12/2023

Call for tender – Research project manager

Research within the framework of the project 'Social democracy without people. On the sources of the popularity of authoritarian populism in Poland'
12/12/2023

FEPS Young Academics Network, Cycle 9

Call for new members - Extended until 14 February 2024
23/06/2023

Call for tender – research and project coordination

This call for tender closed on 23/07/2023
23/05/2023

Open Progressive University

FEPS launches first e-learning platform for Social Democrats
Find all related in the media
In the media

Durchhalten ist nicht unmöglich

by Frankfurter Hefte 06/12/2023
'Persevering is not impossible' Article by Ania Skrzypek, FEPS Director for Research and Training, on the future of social democracy in Europe

Sluta tro att SD-männen bara skojar om politiken

by AFTONBLADET 30/05/2023
'Stop thinking that the SD men are just joking about politics. When changes happen, they happen at lightning speed' Ania Skrzypek interviewed in this Swedish article about the Polish case

Polacy nieufni i “wyjątkowi” – “popandemiczne” badanie w UE

by TOK FM 22/05/2023
'Poles distrustful and "exceptional" - "post-pandemic" survey in the EU' TOK FM. Interview with Ania Skrzypek, FEPS Director for Research and Training, about the results of FEPS' European survey in six EU countries and the 'uniqueness' of the responses of the Polish people.

Santos Silva alerta que extrema-direita “é uma doença que pode ser fatal para a democracia”

by Observador 30/01/2023
'Santos Silva warns that the far-right "is a disease that can be fatal for democracy"' Observador article on Santos Silva's intervention during FEPS event 'Right-wing extremism and our progressive duty to fight it'