euandi2019 is a Voting Advice Application (VAA) aiming at helping citizens make an informed choice in the 2019 European Parliament (EP) elections. Available in over 20 languages, euandi2019 invites users to react to 22 policy statements covering a wide range of contemporary policy issues and political values in European politics. Developed by the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, in close collaboration with the University of Lucerne in Switzerland, euandi2019 provides voters with a clear view of the European electoral campaign and their individual positions within it. The tool’s strong scientific background makes it interesting not only to the general public, but also to academics, experts and policy makers. It is important to note that this tool is politically neutral. euandi2019 is developed by academics for the wider public – it explicitly is not aiming at favouring any political party or group of parties. Note also that euandi2019 can be used completely free of cost by whatever interested person, organisation or institution. The code of the software on which euandi2019 is based was originally developed by the Zurich (Switzerland) based company xUpery Ltd. under the name “Societly”. Societly is a functioning VAA software that is available for free, under an MIT licence, on www.GitHub.com.

How does it work?
euandi2019 represents a means for voters to gain an unobstructed view of the European political space, and their place within it. This space is defined by the policies of the parties competing in the 2019 elections to the European Parliament (EP). euandi2019 provides users a political profile based on their responses to a list of twenty-two policy statements. Users can react to each and every issue statement by stating their level of agreement on a standard five-point scale ranging from ‘completely agree’ to ‘completely disagree’ plus a ‘no opinion’ option. They can also assign saliency to issues by indicating to which extent they regard each issue as personally important to them. The tool then uses a mathematic algorithm (see section on methodology) to give greater emphasis to the positions weighted by the user as being ‘more important’, and less emphasis to those weighted as ‘less important’. The user’s political profile can be examined in relation to the political parties of a given nation as well as with parties from the entire European Union.

Selecting the parties
The euandi2019 team tried to be as inclusive as possible and the exclusion of a party was only considered if a range of opinion polls strongly suggested that the party would not win a single seat in the election. Almost every party that currently has a seat in the European Parliament or national parliaments and that is polling to win at least one seat in the EP is included. It should be noted that all rights are reserved by the euandi2019 team for the selection of parties to be integrated in the tool.

Selecting the statements
It goes almost without saying that the quality of euandi2019 depends first and foremost on the statements we chose. This is not a very simple task and the euandi2019 team spent quite a bit of time on this. Our first criterion was to look for statements that are politically relevant. Whether one likes Wagner more than Verdi cannot become a statement. However, whether European integration is a good thing or not is an excellent candidate for the tool (and it eventually became part of the 22 statements). It is an excellent statement as parties running in the campaign take up very different positions vis-à-vis the issue of European integration. And this is what we were looking for: statements on which there is disagreement between the parties. Furthermore, we wanted to cover the issues at stake in the European election campaign as broadly as possible. For this, we used the results of opinion polls, earlier party manifesto coding, experts, academics and journalists – we consulted many of these sources to find out what topics were important in these elections, what issues were hot, what areas of politics were going to become crucial in these elections. This way we selected the issues covering a very large proportion of contemporary democratic policy making and attitudes toward politics in the EU member states. Our statements were developed by the scientific coordinators of euandi2019 and have been extensively discussed by numerous experts in the field in order to make them as precise, clear and meaningful as possible. Some of the statements are directly taken from traditional survey questions, allowing us to validate/compare our data with other sources. We also tried to re-use statements from earlier editions of transnational VAAs, such as the EU Profiler (EP elections 2009) and euandi (EP elections 2014).

Coding the parties
Political parties running in the 2019 EP elections and selected by the euandi2019 team for inclusion in the tool were given the opportunity to react to the 22 statements and provide their self-placement. The euandi2019 team identified and contacted the parties inviting them to fill in a questionnaire and motivating their choices by supplying supporting material. In parallel, country teams proceeded to code parties’ positions. Our experts were asked to specify what documentation they had used in order to place parties. They were invited to use eight types of sources hierarchically ordered – the top being the party’s own EP election manifesto. In instances where the party has not printed any opinion, the researchers referred to other party manifestos, party websites, statements in the media and other secondary sources. Here is the rank-ordered of the eight main categories of sources:

1. EU Election Manifesto 2019 of national party;
2. Party Election Platform;
3. Current/latest national election manifesto;
4. EU Election Manifesto of Europarties;
5. Other programmatic and official party documentation;
6. Interviews, press releases and social media communication (party leader and leading candidates);
7. Older Election Manifestos;
8. Other sources.

In order to ensure the highest possible level of reliability among coders, crosschecks were organised within each team, while country team-leaders ran additional checks before finalising the process of party placement. When the party selfplacement and the expert coding were completed, the two results were compared. Where there were discrepancies, the party was asked to provide more support for its declared position, and a final answer was identified. Where parties declined the invitation, country teams took care of positioning the parties based on the available documentation. While the parties themselves were consulted, the final decision on positions always lay with the country team, offering the tool a complete impartiality and independence.

Data use
The project’s primary goal is that of providing a space where European voters can simultaneously learn about party positions and their own place in politics. As with every VAA, the makers of euandi2019 aims primarily at helping voters make a well-informed decision. At the same time, and unlike most VAAs, it is the declared objective of euandi2019 to provide scientists with a rich source of academically valuable data. The coding of thousands of party positions on 22 issues for over 250 parties will result in a very large dataset of European party positions. The opinions of millions of users will complement the largest data collection on European Parliament elections, party competition and voters’ attitudes and behaviour ever assembled. The dataset, including supporting material and coding documentation, will soon be made freely available to scholars and to the public at large. For further information on the handling of data, please see the related privacy statement on this site.

The euandi2019 team
The euandi2019 leadership is shared between Dr. Diego Garzia and Prof. Dr. Alexander H. Trechsel (both at the University of Lucerne, Switzerland and fellows at the EUI). The full team is the following:

Dr. Diego Garzia (project co-leader)
Prof. Dr. Alexander H. Trechsel (project co-leader)
Dr. Mihkel Solvak, Statistikalabor and University of Tartu, Estonia (tech coordinator)
Ingo Linsenmann, EUI (financial and administrative coordinator)
Dr. Lorenzo Cicchi, EUI (scientific project coordinator)
Elena Torta, EUI (media and outreach coordinator)
Julia Hiltrop, EUI (administrative support)
Joanna Zofia Wielgo, EUI (administrative and financial support)
Martina Popova, EUI (media and outreach support)
Simone Ottaviano, EUI (tech support)

The backbone of the project is represented by its twenty-nine country teams, including over 120 highly trained and knowledgeable social scientists at the doctoral or post-doctoral level researching and coding the political parties featured in the tool. The majority of country teams’ members are affiliated with the EUI, but several collaborators are based in other parts of Europe.

euandi2019 was made possible by:

Carsten Wegscheider
Fabian Habersack
Reinhard Heinisch - Team Co-Leader
Sarah Caroline Dingler
Zoe Lefkofridi - Team Co-Leader

Belgium - Wallonia
Régis Dandoy - Team Leader

Belgium - Flanders
Daan Fonck
Francesca Colli
Yf Reykers - Team Leader

Boris Popivanov
Elitsa Markova
Trajche Panov - Team Leader

Ana Balkovic
Davor Boban
Ivan Obadić - Team Co-Leader
Kristijan Kotarski
Višeslav Raos - Team Co-Leader

Corina Demetriou - Team Leader
Dimitris Trimithiotis
Eleni Evagorou
Nicos Trimikliniotis

Czech Republic
Aleš Kudrnáč
Eva Tomsova
Jaromír Mazák
Lukas Linek - Team Leader
Otto Eibl

Andreas Brøgger Albertsen
Caroline Bertram
Caroline Helt Jensen
Jakob Bøggild Johannsen - Team Leader

Andres Reiljan - Team Co-Leader
Maarja Saluste
Martin Mölder
Nele Leosk - Team Co-Leader
Risto Conte Keivabu

Aino Tiihonen
Johannes Lehtinen - Team Leader
Marco Svensson La Rosa
Risto Niemikari
Thomas Karv

Aurelie Boursier
Elie Michel - Team Leader
Morgan Le Corre Juratic
Theo Fournier

Christine Müller
Lucas Schramm
Martin Weinrich
Omran Shroufi
Sophia Hunger
Wiebke Drews - Team Leader

Anna Kyriazi - Team Co-Leader
Hannah Androulaki-Khan
Natalia Tellidou - Team Co-Leader
Nikolaos Gkotsis Papaioannou
Stefanos Pentaras

Anna Kyriazi - Team Leader
Áron József Szászi
Harb Jan Macell
Zalan Jakab

James Cross - Team Co-Leader
Maria Laura Sudulich - Team Co-Leader
Sarah Flaherty
Darren Litter
Jack O'Donnell
Daniel Keating
Emma Mulligan
Conor Callaghan
Lydia Foley
Shauna Kearney
Diarmuid Cunniffe
Karl Burke
Seán O'Reilly
Marek Sustak
Adam Nugent
Christian Zörner
Joseph Talot

Daniela Piccio
Edoardo Bressanelli
Elisa Volpi
Francesco Visconti
Giorgio Malet - Team Leader
Matteo Albanese

Diāna Potjomkina
Elīna Grīnhofa
Ieva Bloma - Team Leader
Sintija Broka

Egle Kavoliunaite
Kristina Ambrazeviciute
Petras Ragauskas - Team Leader
Ramūnas Birštonas
Rugilė Trumpytė

Ioana Turdean
Marc Gori
Marie Halbich
Raphael Kies - Team Leader

Godfrey Baldacchino – Team Leader

Emma Hoes
Feike Fliervoet
Mathilde van Ditmars - Team Co-Leader
Rutger Birnie - Team Co-Leader
Tom Buitelaar

Agnieszka Sztajdel
Daniel Platek
Katarzyna Grzybowska-Walecka
Radoslav Michalski
Wojciech Gagatek - Team Leader

Frederico Ferreira da Silva - Team Co-Leader
Jorge M. Fernandes
José Santana Pereira - Team Co-Leader
Mariana Mendes
Tiago Silva - Team Co-Leader

Adrian Matus
Arpad Todor - Team Co-Leader
Claudia Badulescu - Team Co-Leader
Raluca Popp
Toma Burean

Marta Kralikova
Martin Kovanič
Peter Plenta - Team Leader
Radka Vicenová
Tomáš Madleňák

Alem Maksuti
Barbara Možina
Nina Sivec
Simon Delakorda - Team Leader
Tjaša Božič

Álvaro Canalejo Molero
Mar Cañizares Espadafor
Nerea Gándara Guerra
Pedro Martín Cadenas
Sergi Martinez - Team Leader

Amanda Haraldsson - Team Co-Leader
Henrik Ekengren Oscarsson
Linda Berg
Rickard Eksten - Team Co-Leader

United Kingdom
Maria Laura Sudulich - Team Co-Leader
Raluca Popp - Team Co-Leader

The technical partners involved in the development are Statistikalabor and Mobi Lab in Tartu (Estonia). euandi2019 is also used for academic research. The researchers involved include the above academics as well as Prof. Dr. Guido Schwerdt (University of Konstanz, Germany). euandi2019 is the second pillar of a broader project for the 2019 European Parliamentary (EP) Elections, helping citizen find the political party that best matches their policy preferences. The first pillar is spaceu2019, an online tool specifically tailored for mobile EU citizens voting either in their country of citizenship or residence, in a moment when the European transnational voting space has become more and more important. In a nutshell, spaceu2019 is an interactive database informing users on their electoral rights and to allow them to compare the conditions and requirements for participating in the political process of their country of residence or citizenship. The entire project received funding by the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (2014-2020), Grant Agreement number 785683, as well as from the Swiss National Science Foundation through a grant for the project “Towards transnational voting in/for Europe” located at the University of Lucerne.

Contact: vaa@eui.eu