North Macedonia is joining the European social survey (ESS) for the first time in the 10th Round. This is fantastic news to the scientific and research community in the country, currently faced with insufficient national funding for scientific research. The initiative for joining the ESS was submitted to the Ministry of education and science of North Macedonia in November 2018 by the Institute for sociological, political and juridical research-Skopje (ISPJR), the first social science research institute in the country, established in 1965, as part of the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje.
Since the very beginning, the initiative was supported by the main public and private universities with social science departments in the country, which appointed their representatives for the National network of ESS in North Macedonia. The national network will be taking on the role of dissemination of information on the ESS in North Macedonia, will cooperate with the ISPJR during preparation for research and field work, will work towards greater use of the ESS data at their respective institutions, will organize joint conferences based on the ESS data, etc.
We recently asked all the members of the National network about the significance of the implementation of the ESS in North Macedonia, and the benefits for researchers in their respective institutions. There is strong consensus among the academic community about the usefulness of the ESS in North Macedonia. All members of the national ESS network recognize the gains from participating in a longitudinal, multinational research in Europe that is based on sound methodology. According to prof. Ana Tomovska-Misevska, “our country is rarely part of the international research which produces data comparable to other countries and across time” which makes the ESS particularly welcomed. Similar opinion is shared by prof. Goran Ilikj, from St. Kliment of Ohrid University, who stresses the encompassing scope of the ESS which will contribute to “gaining knowledge about the conditions, attitudes and trends in a number of areas, including relevant topics from different scientific disciplines (law, political science, sociology etc.)” Prof. Maja Gerovska-Mitev shared the experience of the participation of the Faculty of philosophy, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje in the European Values Study (2008 and 2019), pointing out that there are multifaceted benefits in terms of international excellence in research, participation of Macedonian researchers in international conferences, networking and potential cooperation in future projects. Researchers also recognize the usefulness of the ESS data for policy makers. All of them stressed the potential use of the ESS data for improvement in policy and social areas, especially in the light of the future EU membership of North Macedonia and with regard to European standards. According to prof. Jovan Ananiev “state institutions will be able to get data which can be used for evaluation of the conditions in various policy areas and to take steps for creating better suited public policies”.
When it comes to the benefits for researchers at their institutions, members of the network stress the quality and scope of the ESS data which are produced in rigorous methodological process. According to Doc. Milena Kasaposka-Chadloska, it is of outmost importance for each researcher to have access to “wide, open access database of comparable, trustworthy data on large number of social science topics and large number of European countries”. Researchers from all institutions agree that the use of these data will increase the quality of scientific publications and will increase the possibilities for publication in high quality scientific journals. These data will be also used for the purposes of master and doctoral thesis, student essays and in teaching purposes. Prof. Jovan Ananiev also adds that this will result in increase of interdisciplinary research among researchers within Universities, and in the country.
Round 10 of ESS in North Macedonia will be conducted by the ISPJR. The ESS National coordinator for North Macedonia is assoc. prof. Aneta Cekikj. Other team members from the ISPJR are: prof. Eleonora Serafimovska, prof. Marijana Markovikj, prof. Ganka Cvetanova, prof. Vesna Zabijakin- Chatleska, prof. Bojana Naumovska, Dr. Klime Babunski, Dr. Jovan Bliznakovski, Milka Dimitrovska, MA, and Blaze Josifovski, MA.
Author: Klime Babunski, National Focal Point
Members of the ESS national network of North Macedonia
Aneta Cekikj, Institute for sociological, political and juridical research, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje
Maja Gerovska-Mitev, Faculty of Philosophy, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje
Milena Kasaposka-Chadloska, Faculty of Law, St. Klement of Ohrid University of Bitola
Afrim Osmani, Faculty of Law, State University of Tetovo
Agron Rustemi, Faculty of contemporary social sciences, South East European University, Tetovo
Jovan Ananiev, Faculty of Law, University “Goce Delchev”, Shtip
Ana Tomovska-Misoska, School of business economics and management, University American College, Skopje
Aleksandra Srbinovska-Donchevski, Faculty of political sciences and diplomacy, FON University Skopje