Deliberative Polling®: European Union
More Informed Voters Select a Parliment in Unprecedented Experiment
Greens Make Dramatic Gains, Public Supports Action on Climate Change and Immigration
What kind of Parliament would Europeans elect if they knew, thought, and talked much more about the issues? An experiment just conducted in Brussels gives a picture of how the votes for Parliament might be different.
A scientific sample of the voters of the entire European Union, representing all 27 countries, gathered for an unprecedented three-day dialogue in Brussels just before the elections. Deliberating in 21 languages, they discussed the issues, read balanced briefing materials, and questioned competing experts and politicians. At the end, they registered their opinions and voting intentions in confidential questionnaires. They discussed two issues—climate change and immigration—in detail. The result was a European Wide “Deliberative Poll” conducted just before the election
By the end of the weekend, many of the participants had changed their views about the issues as well as their vote intentions. They had also become more informed and had changed their sense of identity as Europeans.
Europolis and the European public sphere: Empirical explorations of a counterfactual ideal, European Union Politics
James S. Fishkin, Robert C. Luskin, and Alice Siu
The EuroPolis Deliberative Poll, European Union Politics
Pierangelo Isernia and James S. Fishkin
- Europolis Results: Executive Summary
- Attitude Changes
- Knowledge Gain
- Vote Shares: Before and After Deliberation
- Evaluation of the Deliberative Polling® Process
- Demographic Representativeness
- EuroPolis proves that debate does change European citizens' attitudes, Jun 3 Press Release
- Un debate informado catapulta a los verdes y hunde a los populares, Ricardo Martínez de Rituerto (El País Correspondent – Brussels), 6/2009.
- Countdown to Europe's scientific test of democracy, Apr 27 Press Release
- That's enough theory about the democratic deficit!, Apr 2 Press Release
Tomorrow's Europe, the first EU-wide Deliberative Poll
In October 2007, the first EU-wide, indeed the first transnational, Deliberative Poll® gathered a random sample of 362 citizens from all 27 EU member states to the European Parliament building in Brussels, where they spent a weekend deliberating about a variety of social, economic, and foreign policy issues affecting the European Union and its member states. The deliberation, in a total of 23 languages, with simultaneous translation, alternated between small group discussion led by trained moderators and plenary question-andanswer sessions with leading policy experts and prominent politicians.
The issues deliberated included what the EU should do to preserve its pension systems, what role it should play in the world, how it can remain competitive in an increasingly global economy, and what if anything it should do about admitting additional member states. The results shed light on deliberation’s effects on all these issues. They also shed light on the possibilities of creating a European public sphere and on deliberation’s effects on mutual respect across national boundaries.