Considered opinions about the European Union
I am finally back in the US. After three back-to-back sleepless nights as a global data cruncher, I have the final results of the first-ever European-wide deliberative poll. I’ll have more to say about deliberative polls and this project, but for now, here is a short summary of what we did and what the results are.
What we did:
For the first time ever, a scientific microcosm of Europe was gathered to a single place, the European Parliament building in Brussels, to deliberate in 22 languages about key issues facing the future of the EU and its member states. The participants became dramatically more informed about key issues and changed their views. Participants from the 12 new member countries had different starting points in their opinions but generally changed their opinions more, growing closer in their views to those from the older member states. Over a long weekend, the participants deliberated about economic, social and foreign policy, reflecting on “Europe in the World.”
* Participants were more likely to support for sacrifices for pensions after deliberation than before
* They were less likely to support for enlargement, mostly coming from new member states learning the reasons against enlargement old member states
* In general, participants from new member states changed more and changed towards old member states
* Very significant knowledge gains
* Participants were more educated than non-participants and in general had small but statistically significant difference in attitude and other measures
Here’s a great press release that has a lot of juicy details:
On that site, you can also find video and other details.
There has also been a fair amount of press too. Here are two examples: