3 years ago



evenly divided in the

evenly divided in the United States. Many Europeansreported significantly more negative views of theirown governments, however, particularly in France,Italy, Portugal, and Spain. German ChancellorAngela Merkel was less popular in Europe than lastyear, though still considerably more popular in herhandling of the economic crisis in Europe than mostdomestic governments.Economic Policy: Growing majorities on both sidesof the Atlantic expressed dissatisfaction with theirgovernments’ economic policies, and said that theireconomic systems favored the interests of the fewover basic fairness. While there was general supportfor cutting government spending, majorities wantedto maintain or increase spending on most individualdomestic priorities.Security Policy: Majorities in the United States andEU expressed their continued belief in the necessity ofNATO, saying that its importance stemmed from itscharacter as a community of democracies rather thanits facilitation of burden-sharing or its role in protectingagainst military threats. Turkish respondentswere still ambivalent, with many preferring to actalone in the future. There was a convergence, however,on how to address the challenge posed by Iran,with pluralities in the United States, EU, and Turkeyfavoring economic sanctions over other strategies.The transatlantic community was divided on drones:U.S. respondents strongly favored their use, whileEuropean and Turkish respondents were opposed.Afghanistan and Syria: Majorities in the UnitedStates and EU — particularly in France, Germany, andSweden — approved of their country contributing toa mission to train Afghan soldiers and police officers,though respondents in Turkey sharply disagreed.Respondents had no appetite for intervention in Syria,however; even more so than last year, the internationalconsensus is against any sort of intervention.Russia: Growing majorities on both sides of theAtlantic continue to find Russian leadership in internationalaffairs undesirable, though U.S. respondentswere more divided. This coincided with an increasinglyunfavorable view of Russia itself.China/Asia: Asked for the first time whether theyfound Chinese leadership in global affairs desirable,majorities in the United States and Europe demurred.Again, this matched an increasingly less favorableopinion of China itself. Asked whether they thought“countries of Asia, such as China, Japan, and SouthKorea” were more important to their national intereststhan Europe, Americans were evenly split, whiletwo-in-three Europeans preferred the United States.However, when given the choice between Europe andChina, a majority of U.S. respondents chose Europeover China, while three-in-four Europeans chosethe United States over China. As in previous years,respondents on both sides of the Atlantic saw Chinaas an economic threat, while only Americans saw itas a military threat as well. Other rising powers likeIndia, Brazil, and Indonesia were seen by majoritiesor pluralities as an economic opportunity rather thana threat.Immigration: Concern over immigration was coloredby concern over economic impact. Respondents insome (but only some) of the countries hit hardest bythe crisis were generally more likely to say that theywere worried about the role immigration plays intheir societies. At the same time, majorities generallyagreed that immigrants were integrating well, and thatthey only rarely detracted from a country’s economyand culture.Turkey: Turkish approval of U.S. and European leadershipdropped last year, and majorities continue toview the United States and Europe unfavorably. Turkswere ambivalent about their own government, butincreasingly confident about their country’s internationalstance.Sweden: Sweden’s third year in the survey revealed,as before, that the country’s public opinion stoodapart from other EU countries on a number of issues.Sweden remained more favorably disposed towardstrade and foreign intervention, and Swedes expressed2 | TRANSATLANTIC TRENDS 2013

less — though increased — pessimism about theireconomic position.KEY FINDINGS OF THE SURVEYTransatlantic Relations and Global ViewsnnA little more than half of EU respondents (55%)said it was desirable that the United Statesexert strong leadership in world affairs, almostunchanged from last year. Nearly three-in-fourEuropeans (70%) continued to hold favorableviews of the United States, but views acrossEurope varied widely. Favorable opinion of theUnited States rose in Poland from 65% to 72%,but dropped several percentage points elsewherein Europe — in Spain, for example, it dropped tenpercentage points to 62%. Opinion of the UnitedStates remained low in Turkey, with unfavorableviews going up seven percentage points to 64%.nnFifty-seven percent of Americans (down sixpercentage points from last year) said it wasdesirable for the European Union to exercisestrong leadership as well. Within the EU, supportfor EU leadership went up in the U.K. (by fivepercentage points to 60%), but down in France(by eight percentage points to 68%) and Spain (by11 percentage points to 56%). Favorable opinionof the EU remained stable at 50% in the UnitedStates and 66% in Europe. Sixty-three percent ofTurks felt EU leadership to be undesirable; 60%held an unfavorable view of the EU itself.nnA plurality of Americans (46%) viewed Russianglobal leadership as undesirable, as did twoin-threeEuropeans (65%) and 67% of Turkishrespondents. Negative views of Russia were heldby 59% of Americans, 62% of Europeans (upseven percentage points from 2012), and 68% ofTurks.nnAsked for the first time about Chinese globalleadership, a plurality of Americans (47%)said they found it undesirable, as did 65% ofEuropeans and 72% of Turks. Similarly, 58% ofU.S. respondents reported an unfavorable view ofChina, with 60% of Europeans and 63% of Turksagreeing.nnAsked whether they thought “countries of Asia,such as China, Japan, and South Korea” weremore important to their national interests thanEurope, Americans were evenly split (Asia:45%; Europe: 44%). This was a reversal fromlast year, and a return to attitudes expressed in2011. Meanwhile, two-in-three Europeans (64%)preferred the United States. However, when giventhe choice between Europe and China alone, amajority of U.S. respondents (53%) chose Europeover China, while three-in-four Europeans (71%)chose the United States over China. A plurality ofTurks (39%), when asked to choose between theUnited States and “countries of Asia,” chose thelatter; 27% chose the United States. When givena choice between the United States and China,however, 41% chose the United States, and 34%chose China.nnAs in previous years, respondents on both sidesof the Atlantic (United States: 62%; EU: 46%;Turkey: 41%) agreed that China is more of aneconomic threat than an opportunity. Fortyonepercent of Europeans described China as aneconomic opportunity, with 28% of Americansand 31% of Turks agreeing. Only Americans (aplurality of 49%) see China as a military threat aswell; a majority of Europeans (56%) and two-inthreeTurks (60%) disagreed.n n Respondents were more optimistic about potentialeconomic cooperation with rising non-Westernpowers. Sixty-four percent of Europeans thoughtthat countries like India, Brazil, and Indonesiapresented an economic opportunity — asdid pluralities in the United States (48%) andTurkey (31%). The most enthusiastic support forcooperation was found in the Netherlands (73%),as well as in Spain, Germany, and Sweden (all71%).TRANSATLANTIC TRENDS 2013 | 3

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