Deliberative Polling®: European Union


Europolis 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.

Research Papers




Tomorrow's Europe, the first EU-wide Deliberative Poll

Tomorrow's Europe 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.