About Voices on Values

A joint project of d|part and the Open Society European Policy Institute (OSEPI) 

A vari­ety of soci­etal changes chal­lenge our views of open soci­ety prin­ci­ples. They include the dis­sat­is­fac­tion with con­ven­tion­al pol­i­tics expressed by pop­ulist par­ties; increased con­cerns over secu­ri­ty and immi­gra­tion, as well as nation­al­ism and unde­mo­c­ra­t­ic pol­i­cy changes. Civ­il soci­ety groups and pol­i­cy-mak­ers are mobil­is­ing to defend an open soci­ety, but there is no con­sen­sus on what it actu­al­ly means.

Aim of the Voices on Values project

To help civ­il soci­ety organ­i­sa­tions along with nation­al and EU-lev­el polit­i­cal actors, as well as the wider pub­lic, respond to these pro­found polit­i­cal dis­rup­tions, the Voic­es on Val­ues project seeks to under­stand what dri­ves the chang­ing dis­course about open soci­eties and the mech­a­nisms that can be used to strength­en them. It puts the spot­light on six coun­tries: Ger­many and France, Hun­gary and Poland, and Italy and Greece.


This research is based on inter­views with deci­sion-mak­ers and civ­il soci­ety lead­ers as well as pub­lic sur­veys con­duct­ed across all six coun­tries. In these we asked peo­ple across Europe about the impor­tance of val­ues asso­ci­at­ed with open soci­eties, such as free­dom of expres­sion, press free­dom and the free­dom of reli­gion, and through an exper­i­men­tal sur­vey design test­ed to what extent people’s eval­u­a­tions are robust when con­trast­ed with poten­tial trade-offs.

Getting heard

Work­ing with a net­work of think-tankers and researchers in six coun­tries, the Voic­es on Val­ues project pro­duced opin­ion pieces and short­er data-based arti­cles on themes like young peo­ple and civ­il rights as well as in-depth reports from each coun­try and com­par­ing find­ings across all of them. Addi­tion­al­ly the project team has been con­tribut­ing to debates on these issues in prac­tice, through pub­lic events,  brief­in­gs for var­i­ous organ­i­sa­tions and arti­cles for pop­u­lar media outlets.


Pic­ture: © WoGi — Fotolia.com