NGO

Disinformation about International Organizations Allegedly Banned to Conduct Public Opinion Surveys in European Countries

5 June, 2018

On May 9, POS TV’s Media Rentgeni program aired on Maestro TV was dedicated to the issue of fabrication in social research. Nikoloz Laliashvili, the program host, noted that the civil society sector is one of the initiators of fake sociology, whereas media turns falsified figures into “fake news.” He also said that various reports actively supported by international organizations are used along with election ratings to exert influence on public opinion. Sociologist Valerian Gorgiladze said that international organizations are not allowed to conduct public opinion surveys in any European country and that this issue needs to be regulated.

The allegation that international organizations are banned to conduct surveys in European countries is disinformation. The only regulation acting in European counties sets out the rule to collect, handle and disseminate personal data when conducting public opinion surveys, as well as to release and cover the results of public opinion surveys during elections.

   1.International organizations are not banned to conduct public opinion surveys in European countries.

There are no regulations prohibiting international organizations to conduct public opinion polls in European countries. The regulations related to public opinion polls set out the rules for releasing the results of surveys during elections, as well as protecting personal data of survey respondents.

Public opinion polls are conducted in the EU countries by a number of international organizations, such as Gallup, Pew Research Center, etc.

   2. Two international organizations - the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI) - are operating in the Central and Eastern European countries.

IRI

Presently, IRI is implementing its programs in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Macedonia and Bulgaria.  In the transition democracies of Europe, IRI supports the development of multi-party political systems that design, debate and implement policies that improve the quality of life of their citizens. In Slovakia, IRI is implementing a large scale program which is based on systematic public opinion surveys and implies assisting democratic forces in defining election strategies and setting up coalitions, as well as in conducting effective political campaigns.

For example, on May 24, 2017, IRI released the results of public opinion survey in Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia. The survey was conducted on behalf of the International Republican Institute by Ipsos Hungary Zrt.

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NDI

NDI is functioning in 12 European countries, including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Slovakia. In each country NDI conducts public opinion surveys on various topics; the law does not ban such activities in these countries. For example, in April 2018, NDI released the results of public opinion surveys conducted in Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, exploring youth attitudes towards democracy and politics.

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About POS TV

POS TV is a government-affiliated online television. Starting from May 1, 2018, four programs of POS TV (Night Show, Media Rentgeni, Political Detector and Conservatoire) have been aired on Maestro TV. Shalva Ramishvili, Nika Laliashvili, Nugzar Rukhadze, Valerian Gorgiladze and others participate in preparing the TV programs.