From November 2013 until May 2014 I took part in the development of euandi, the online Voting Advice Applicatin launched by the European University Institute in occasion of the European Parliament elections of 2014. I was co-leader of the Italian team, managing all the aspects related to the Italian parties running for the European elections.
eu and i fulfils all the functions any traditional VAA would offer its users: documentation of party positions and matching of a user’s positions with the political supply. Fundamentally new, however, is that the data generated enable like-minded citizens to connect and jointly act on a continent-wide level. This has never been attempted. Through social-media-linked applications, like Facebook and Twitter, they can transnationally connect with their peers. In doing so, euandi not only contributes to increasing the understanding of the European political landscape.
It also offers an invaluable opportunity for developing a European public sphere. Thus, the EUI went beyond producing a simple information-giver, in order to, for the first time in the history of VAAs, produce an enabler. The data gathered by this project will remain dynamic and continue to produce further connections between citizens. This possibly largest public opinion measurement tool will continue attracting scholars analyzing group formation, political mobilization and partisan adaptation. It could be easily implemented elsewhere, for instance in the US Presidential or Congressional elections of 2016.