helpGeneral description and Method Explanation
The EU Profiler, the first Europe-wide voting advice application (VAA), is the work of a consortium of institutions in Italy, The Netherlands and Switzerland. The EU Profiler consortium consists of the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, the Amsterdam-based company Kieskompas and the NCCR Democracy (University of Zurich/Zentrum für Demokratie Aarau)/Politools network. The project is led by the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS), part of the European University Institute (EUI) and is developed under the auspices of the EUI-based European Union Democracy Observatory (EUDO). Project leader Professor Alexander H. Trechsel at the EUI oversees the contribution of more than 120 academic collaborators from across Europe. The overall development is overseen by a Steering Committee that consists of representatives of the developing institutions and other Political Science Professors.
Technical expertise is provided by Kieskompas who have previously delivered profiling tools for (among others) the Belgian and Dutch national elections of 2007, the American Presidential Election of 2008 and the Israeli general election of 2009.
Additionally the NCCR Democracy (University of Zurich/Zentrum für Demokratie Aarau) offers in close cooperation with the Politools network (owner and developer of VAAs in several European countries) scientific input, as well as practical experience and in-depth knowledge of developing specialized VAA-features. The three partner institutions jointly finance the project, with the acknowledged support of the Max Weber Fellow Programme at the EUI.
Apart from the conceptualisation and the technical development of the EU Profiler, so-called “Country Teams” were responsible for researching and ‘coding’ the political parties featured in the tool, as well as carrying out the groundwork that made this tool possible. The Country Team members are mostly political scientists at a doctoral and post-doctoral level and are experts in the party politics of their home countries. Their work is the backbone of the project, meticulously consulting and researching each party and finding evidence of their policy positions. The majority of Country Teams members are affiliated with the EUI, but several collaborators are based in other parts of Europe.
Please see the “colophon” in the tool for further details on the people involved in the project.
In practical terms the development of this tool has involved the accumulation of data from nearly 300 political parties representing 34 different countries and regions in Europe. Working in more than 20 different languages with team members spread across the continent it is a ground-breaking multi-disciplinary project that has brought together a wide range of experts in a variety of fields.