“Bruised but not broken: reviving the appeal of the EU in the minds of V4 citizens.”

This project reacts to the upcoming 2024 European Parliament elections and focuses on researching and addressing the most contentious topics within the European Union, mainly focusing on its newer member states – V4 countries. These countries have been experiencing some forms of democratic backsliding, such as low participation in elections, tendencies towards Euroscepticism, high levels of distrust in authorities, or a resurgence of populism. Overall, these signals suggest a detachment from the European project.

Therefore, understanding the needs, concerns, and fears of V4 citizens is essential. It is also timely – Europe now stands on the verge of numerous transitions – chief among which is the green transformation intended to combat climate change.

The goal of the project is to gauge citizens’ attitudes and preferences towards four broad policy domains that played a pivotal role in the European Union’s quest to adapt to a new policy environment in the recent past: decarbonisation policies, migration, the COVID-19 pandemic, and debates over the rule of law.

During the project’s first phase, we will conduct qualitative and quantitative research into citizens´ attitudes to the four core topics of the project. Furthermore, we will look into the V4 governments´ approaches to the topics via analyses of policy and discourse in the V4 countries. The project’s second phase will build on the realised research and engage with various stakeholders and policy-makers to share the findings and prepare communication- and engagement strategies before the 2024 European Parliament elections. Finally, we will disseminate the results and knowledge via public discussions, workshops, podcasts, and media outputs to the public.

The project is carried out by leading think-tank and research institutions in each of the V4 countries: EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy in Czechia; Bratislava Policy Institute in Slovakia; 21 Research Center in Hungary; The Projekt: Polska Foundation in Poland; and is supported by the European Union.