Project ESS is a part of „Projection of developmental trends in social sphere“ in Slovakia. It is also a part of government program „Current questions of society development“.
ESS is international survey conducted in biennial intervals with the participation of 30 European countries. The project was preliminary designed for 5 rounds: 2002 – 2011. Project was initiated by European Fond for Science with the aim of:
- To monitor and interpret attitudes and values of European citizens in relation to changing European institutions
- To support utilization of advanced methods in international comparative research in Europe and worldwide
Social sciences, similarly to sciences, are trying to provide generalization that are applicable in current era. Cultural diversity of Europe represents natural laboratory for social sciences. The main condition of capturing these social changes is to utilize relatively stable instruments when obtaining empirical data.
Although social science in Europe have long tradition in empirical analyses, most of the data are not comparative in their nature. This is also applicable to national data that are carefully collected in periodical intervals (e.g. census). Moreover if the goal is complex view of social reality multidisciplinary approach must be applied. This means that it is needed for various social sciences to participate, such as: economics, political science, sociology, psychology, history and social anthropology.
One of the main principles of ESS is that researchers participating on the project have no privileges in data access. The databases of each round of ESS are complete documentation and are accessible to everyone, who shall be interested: http://www.europeansocialsurvey.org
In 2005 ESS was awarded with Descartes Prize (it was the first time that project from social a behavioral sciences was awarded).