The European Values Study is a large-scale, cross-national, and longitudinal survey research program on basic human values. It provides insights into the ideas, beliefs, preferences, attitudes, values, and opinions of citizens all over Europe. It is a unique research project on how Europeans think about life, family, work, religion, politics, and society. The first wave was held in 1981 (14 countries), with follow-ups in 1990 (30 countries), 1999 (33 countries), 2008 (45 countries), and 2017 (40 countries).
The Netherlands took part in all five waves. EVS in the Netherlands is part of the national infrastructure for Social Science, ODISSEI (Open Data Infrastructure for Social Science and Economic Innovations) and the fifth wave has been partially financed by ODISSEI and is included within the ODISSEI Large Scale Infrastructure Proposal currently under consideration by NWO.
The EVS surveys are carried out all over Europe by national program directors under the responsibility of the EVS Executive Committee and are coordinated by a Central Team consisting of members from the Sociology Department of Tilburg University and from the Data Archive for the Social Sciences from GESIS/Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences in Cologne.
The main asset of the European Values Study is the availability of a longitudinal comparative data set that is available free of charge for the academic community. Rich academic literature has been created around the five waves and numerous other works have made use of the findings: more than 1600 publications are listed in the EVS Bibliography.
In-depth analyses of the surveys reinforced the impression that a profound transformation of modern culture is taking place, although not at the same speed in all countries. Cultural and social changes appear dependent upon the stage of socio-economic development and historical factors specific to a given nation. The new 2017 wave will provide further insights into this matter, also allowing analyses of the impact of the economic crises on the Europeans’ values. For the 2017 wave EVS is cooperating with World Values Survey for the data collection in Europe.
As part of ODISSEI, EVS collaborates with other elements of the Dutch Social Science infrastructure landscape to identify synergies, efficiencies and new lines of collaboration. In a way, this is a continuation of the efforts within the Horizon 2020 project Synergies for Europe's Research Infrastructures in the Social Sciences (SERISS), in which EVS collaborates with the European Social Survey (ESS), the Generations and Gender Programme (GGP), the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) and the Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA).
EVS also plays a role in the H2020 project Social Sciences and Humanities Open Cloud (SSHOC), an important step forward in making data infrastructures accessible through the cloud. Further cooperation with ESS gets attention in the H2020 SUSTAIN2-project.
All these initiatives are geared towards a better collaboration on the national and international level to make good data available in a well-documented way.