Research activity of the members of Eurasia Barometer Consortium outreaches the last 25 years and goes back to 1989 when the first surveys included now as the first wave of Eurasia Barometer were completed in the countries of Eastern Europe by Paul Lazarsfeld Society in Austria and New Democracies Barometer in the UK.
The Paul Lazarsfeld Society's research of public opinion undertaken in 1989-1998 under the leadership of the current director of Eurasia Barometer Prof. Christian Haerpfer has shown that the surveys offer an in-depth view of political developments. Government press releases, media reports and official statistics cannot suffice as a basis for sound, successful policy-making and an adequate assessment of the developments in democratic societies.
Proof of the surveys' merits can be found in the fact that the Paul Lazarsfeld Society was able to show as early as 1994 in a conference report broadcast by Austria's public broadcasting corporation (ORF) that the pioneers of the pro-democracy movement, the first governments after the collapse of the Soviet system were bound to lose elections, as the population expected economic recovery and prosperity to miraculously materialize over night and would not tolerate the numerous errors committed in the course of privatization and reform in general.
The New Democracies Barometer represents an important page in the history of social survey in the countries of Eastern Europe. The New Democracies Barometer was conducted in the period between 1991 and 1998 with a total of 53.390 face-to-face interviews in 49 nation-wide and representative cross-sectional sample surveys in 12 post-Communist European countries and became the first comparative cross-country time-series survey in the Commonwealth of Independent States.
In 1999-2008 and 2009-2015 activity of Eurasia Barometer Consortium was devoted to implementation of research projects sponsored by leading European research grant programs, namely FP6, FP7, Copernicus, Copernicus-2, INTAS and etc. The topics of these projects were trends of social, economical and political development of the societies; national and European identities; living conditions and lifestyles of population of Post-Soviet Eurasia; health condition and bad habits and etc. All the projects were implemented under the leadership of Prof. Christian Haerpfer, the Director of Eurasia Barometer, mainly with the Institute for Advanced Studies in Vienna as the Project Coordinator.
Future plans of the Eurasia Barometer include extension of survey geographical scope and inclusion of a larger number of countries of Central Asia as well as extension of the scope of research topics studied in the projects. Implementation of the future projects is planned on the base of Institute for Comparative Survey Research 'Eurasia Barometer' established in Vienna, Austria.