The Eurobarometer (EB) survey series is a unique programme of cross-national and cross-temporal comparative social science research. Since the early seventies representative national samples in all European Union (EU) (formerly the European Community (EC)) member states have been simultaneously interviewed in the spring and autumn of each year. Starting with EB 34.1 (autumn 1990), separate supplementary surveys on special issues have been conducted under almost every EB number. The EB is designed to provide regular monitoring of public social and political attitudes in the EU through specific trend questions. More information about the series may be found on the Zentralarchiv fuer Empirische Sozialforschung (ZA - Central Archive for Empirical Social Research, University of Cologne) Eurobarometer Survey Series web pages. Background Work on European survey series began in early 1970, when the Commission of the European Community sponsored simultaneous surveys of the EC. These surveys were designed to measure public awareness of, and attitudes toward, the Common Market and other EC institutions, in complementary fashion. They also probed the goals given top priority for each respondent's nation. These concerns have remained a central part of the EC's research efforts - which were carried forward in the summer of 1971 with another six-nation survey that gave special attention to agricultural problems. The nine EC member countries were then surveyed again on the same topic areas in September 1973. After 1973, the surveys took on a somewhat broader scope in content as well as in geographical coverage, with measures of subjective satisfaction and the perceived quality of life becoming standard features of the EC public opinion surveys. Over time, the member states of the EC/EU have increased in number, and the coverage of the EB surveys has widened accordingly. In 1974, nine countries were surveyed: France, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland and Luxembourg. Greece has been included since the autumn 1980 survey (EB 14) onwards, Portugal and Spain since autumn 1985 (EB 24), the former German Democratic Republic since autumn 1990 (EB 34), Finland since the spring of 1993 (EB 39), and Sweden and Austria since the autumn of 1994 (EB 42). Norway has been included in some surveys since 1991, from EB 36 onwards. In 2004, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia joined the EU, and in 2007, Bulgaria and Romania (some of these countries participated in the Candidate Countries Eurobarometer survey series (see under GN 33343) before full accession). Some surveys are also conducted in Turkey, and in the Turkish Cypriot Community (Northern Cyprus). The Eurobarometer public opinion surveys are conducted on behalf of and co-ordinated by the European Commission, DG Press and Communication - Opinion Polls Sector (European Commission Public Opinion Analysis). Special topic modules are carried out at the request of the responsible EU Directorate General. Main Topics:This round of Eurobarometer surveys diverged from the Standard Eurobarometer measures and queried respondents in the ten new European Union member countries on the following topics: lifelong learning and consumer rights. For the first major focus, the survey asked respondents to provide their opinions on lifelong learning including identifying life changes that have occurred in the last two years, the best opportunities in which to learn in a private or public setting, contexts in the past 12 months in which something was learned, and the most significant opportunity for learning in the last 5 years. Respondents were asked whether they studied or trained in the past 12 months, whether they were advised or required to do so, and the reasons why. In addition, they were queried about the three main benefits of the study or training they undertook in the past 12 months, the main reasons to complete study or training in the future, and their preferred method to improve or update professional skills. The survey also examined respondent opinion of obstacles that would affect and factors that would encourage participation in study or training, the most useful sources of information that would assist in improving study or career prospects, and situations that would influence them to pay for the cost of a course. Respondents also evaluated whether certain skills were useful, and if they had evidence of possessing these skills. For the second major focus, consumer rights, the survey only queried respondents in Poland. They were asked about their confidence in fair treatment during daily shopping, while making major purchases and in purchasing a product in a shop, and whether they had problems when buying specific items from shops, sellers, or service providers, and the actions they took in response. Respondents were also asked about their knowledge of consumer rights and consumer rights groups, which people or organizations they would trust to provide correct advice and information about consumer rights, and whether they had asked Federacja Kosumentow, a consumer rights group, for information or advice. In addition, respondents evaluated the service they received from Federacja Kosumentow and whether they would refer others to this organization. They also identified whether they would monetarily support an independent consumer association, how frequently the media talked about consumer rights, and who in the media was the source of this information. Finally, respondents were asked whether they had heard a particular message and to define the meaning of that message, to evaluate Poland's consumer rights in comparison to those of other EU countries, and to assess the efficiency of the justice system in punishing people who cheat consumers. Demographic and other background information collected from all respondents includes age, gender, nationality, origin of birth (personal and parental), marital status, left-right political self-placement, occupation, age when stopped full-time education, household composition, availability of a fixed or mobile telephone in the household, type and size of locality, region of residence, and language of interview (select countries).