The European Policy Institute under the guidance of the CDD implemented the 1st Deliberative Poll in Macedonia. This event gathered a random sample of the entire country for 1 weekend. The participants engaged in a discussion on the country’s ascension to the European Union.
Problems and Purpose
European Union membership is a hotly debated topic across all of Europe, and recent Brexit conversations have reinvigorated this controversy. In order to assess attitudes on the EU, a national Deliberative Poll was held in Skopje, the capital of North Macedonia, in 2019. The European Policy Institute, a non-governmental organization in North Macedonia, organized this two-day deliberative event. Participants primarily deliberated about the European Union in general, the merits and detriments of North Macedonia joining the EU, and ways to reform the North Macedonian government.
Influence, Outcomes, and Effects
In general, support for the EU went down significantly after deliberation. Participants were asked to rate the favorability of statements or ideas on a scale from 0 to 10, where 0 is completely unfavorable and 10 is completely favorable. The mean approval of the EU decreased from 7.87 to 6.75 following the deliberative event, a change that is statistically significant at the alpha level of 0.001 (78.2% of participants rated the EU as favorable before deliberation, which decreased to 53.4% afterward). Support for integration of North Macedonia to the EU also decreased – although less so – from a mean of 8.42 to 7.81 (statistically significant at the alpha level of 0.05).
Participants also were more likely to be supportive of the EU than non-participants. Although the mean approval of the EU was 7.36 for non-participants, it was only 6.75 for participants, a difference statistically significant to the alpha level of 0.05. The percentage of non-participants approving of the EU was also higher (70.2%), than participants approving of the EU (53.4%). Non-participants also thought a variety of proposals on oversight by the North Macedonia Assembly were less desirable than their participant counterparts. Non-participants rated securing the supervisory role of the parliamentary committees over the work of the government, allowing for greater and decisive oversight of the Assembly for work of security services, and increasing the initiatives for civic participation in the work of the Assembly as all less important than participants did to a level statistically significant at the alpha level of 0.01.
Also included in the pre- and post-deliberation surveys were some basic factual questions about North Macedonia and the EU. Most questions showed an increase in the percentage of participants answering correctly, but at the end of the deliberation 13.8% less of the participants answered a question about EU standards for protection against discrimination correctly. At-large, however, a mean of 10.3% more participants answered each question correctly after the deliberation, a change statistically significant at the alpha level of 0.05.
Finally, participants had a favorable view of the event itself. They were asked to rate small group discussions, briefing materials, and the plenary sessions on a scale from 1 to 10 on how valuable they were in helping clarify one’s positions on the issues. The percentage of participants rating each of these as a 6 or higher was above 75% for all of them, but the plenary session was the most popular with 79.4% of participants rating it as a 6 or higher on a scale of usefulness.
Taken directly from https://drive.google.com/file/d/11qx-vEJSCh5UWtUJ7U9pK4tqQwzwK1CC/view