IRI Poll: Increasing Foreign Influence, Lack of Transparency in Parties

A new poll by the International Republican Institute (IRI) in North Macedonia shows an increase in Chinese and Russian influence, a lack of transparency in political parties and support for the Open Balkans initiative. In terms of foreign policy, according to IRI, 64% of Macedonian citizens agree that strong relations with China serve their interests. Sixty percent think the same about Russia. This is an increase of eleven percent for China and six percent for Russia compared to the survey conducted in February 2020. The newly released poll also shows strong support for the European Union (EU) and the United States. Overall, 85 percent agree that strong relations with the EU best serve North Macedonia’s interests, while 76 percent share the same view of the United States. When asked about political parties, only 21% of the citizens of North Macedonia believe that they are transparent in dealing with the money received from the state budget. Furthermore, 48 percent were not aware of the amount of the state budget that is allocated annually for financing political parties. The poll also shows that 75% of adults support the Open Balkans initiative.