Andorra - Europe barometer

The aim of this project is to build, develop and populate a tool for the comprehensive analysis of the state of opinion on relations between Andorra and Europe and, in particular (in the framework of the negotiation of the association agreement), on the Principality's relations with the European Union. This is key information that may be of interest to both Andorran civil society and the international scientific community, which would have one more case study on supporting or opposing regional integration processes.

Andorra's association with the EU is a policy with structural implications, of great relevance to the country, which occupies a privileged place in the political and media agendas and which affects actors from all over Andorran society in a transversal way. This complexity implies that the approach to the analysis of the state of opinion on a possible association of Andorra with the EU needs to go far beyond a survey –repeated more or less frequently– in a random sample of the population. Thus, the Andorra - Europe barometer aims to be a tool of maxims both in terms of what (what is intended to be analyzed), who (the actors to be consulted) and how (the methodology and diversity of tools and techniques used). Let's summarize it step by step.

When we talk about analyzing the state of opinion of Andorran society, we understand it in a broad sense. On the one hand, because we include knowledge within the scope of this concept (do we know that an association agreement is being negotiated?; do we know what it consists of?, etc.); values (do we feel European?; do we recognize ourselves in the values of the EU?; etc.), interest (are we interested in the topis of a possible association with the EU?), attitudes (do we agree with a possible association with the EU?; to what degree?; etc.), behaviors (how do we plan to channel or articulate our support or opposition to the project?) and worries (what worries us about this whole process?; what information do we lack?; what could change our position?; etc.) of all the actors consulted. But we also understand in a broad sense the concept of state of opinion when defining the social actors whose opinion we are interested in and who include the general population, the citizens with the right to vote, specific groups (young people, specific professional sectors, etc.), key actors in the negotiation, media, public opinion leaders, political forces, etc.

In order to correctly grasp the opinion of all these actors in relation to all the aspects mentioned, it will be necessary to triangulate different techniques for collecting both quantitative and qualitative information. Thus, the main sources of information that will be used will be:

  • surveys with random samples representative of the social structure of Andorran society (with different waves of surveys of at most 6 months apart –possibly offset by a continuous survey system in a panel created ad hoc for the barometer– and including specific questions in each wave and common questions that allow us to get both international amd mid-term comparisons)
  • interviews with key actors or individuals from specific groups
  • focus groups with key actors or individuals from specific groups
  • analysis of opinions posted on social media and digital forums
  • analysis of published opinion (editorials, opinion articles, social gatherings, interviews and press statements of key actors related to the negotiation of the association agreement)
  • analysis of the positions and speeches of the different institutional, political, economic and social actors related to the association agreement (official speeches, manifestos, electoral programs, etc.)

The analytical treatment of all the information obtained must allow the creation of two main types of products: complete, well-structured, regularly populated and searchable databases based on multiple parameters; and reports and papers that integrate the analysis of all the information collected, whether general or specific reports.

Given the importance of such a barometer in gathering information in a systematic way, information will begin to be collected once the design of the different studies involved has been closed. Therefore, all data will begin to be collected from January 2022, avoiding –except for some justified exceptions– a retrospective collection of the state of opinion of previous years.

Regarding the main difficulties of the studies that have to feed the barometer, the two main ones are, on the one hand, the conduct of opinion studies in a demographically limited context itself (especially with regard to the population with the right to vote), from which it is more difficult to draw highly representative samples, and, on the other, the challenge of raising the opinion of outsiders with regard to that of insiders. In addition, the pursue of an association agreement with the EU is still perceived in an abstract way by a part of the population, a fact that mai be a source of biases in the first waves of the barometer.

Despite these two obstacles, the goal of achieving the most complete periodic diagnosis possible on the state of opinion of Andorran society on relations with the EU is not only necessary but also possible.