Sunday

21st Jul 2019

Europeans question American global role

Europeans have grown more critical of US global leadership, while American support for a strong European partner has increased over the last year.

This is the conclusion of the Transatlantic Trends 2003 survey, which was conducted in June 2003 by the German Marshall Fund of the United States and the Compagnia di San Paolo, based in Turin, Italy.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

  • Both Americans (70%) and Europeans (74%) opted for strengthening the United Nations (Photo: EUobserver)

8,000 individuals from the United States and seven European countries: Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and Portugal were polled.

Not all favour strong US leadership

The poll showed that Europeans starkly question US global leadership. Overall, only 45% of Europeans - a large drop-off compared to 64% in 2002 - see strong US leadership as desirable.

In contrast, 80% of Americans, consistent with last year's 79% continue to see strong EU leadership as desirable.

While majorities in France (70%), Germany (50%) and Italy (50%) believe global US leadership is "undesirable", the contrary feeling is found amongst the British, the Dutch, and the Poles. Poland appears to be an American stronghold in Europe, with 58% supportive of the US President George Bushs' handling of international policy.

71% of Europeans want to see the European Union become a superpower like the United States in order for the EU to cooperate better, rather than compete, with the US.

However, 51% of those resist increased military spending, the survey found.

Similar view of threats

The global threats are seen on both sides of the Atlantic as international terrorism, weapons of mass destruction and Islamic fundamentalism.

But Americans and Europeans hold different opinions on how to respond to these threats.

Americans were more likely than Europeans to support the use of military force to rid countries of weapons of mass destruction and to bypass the United Nations if vital national interests are at stake.

Support for strengthening the UN

The Americans expressed record support for US involvement overseas. The highest percentage of Americans since 1947 (77%) said they were in favour of an active American role in world affairs.

On questions regarding the role of international organisations in addressing disputes, both Americans (70%) and Europeans (74%) opted for strengthening the United Nations, but a majority of Americans (57%) supported bypassing the world body if US vital interests are at stake.

A majority of Europeans (53%), however, would not favour bypassing the UN if their interests were at stake.

PiS & Fidesz claim credit for von der Leyen victory

Warsaw and Budapest are boasting about their support for von der Leyen after the german is confirmed only by a small margin of MEPs, but the illiberals should not expect the softening of rule of law scrutiny.

Analysis

Von der Leyen faces gender battle for commission posts

The first-ever female president of the European Commission wants half of her team of commissioners to consist of women. But most of the commissioners put forward by EU member states so far have been male.

Analysis

What did we learn from the von der Leyen vote?

The vote on von der Leyen showed the fundamental change in EU politics. The rise of the European Parliament, the power of political parties, and the fragmentation of politics, are new realities to be taken into account.

Von der Leyen's EU vote far from sure

Unhappy socialist and liberal MEPs could upset German's bid to be next EU commission chief, making an even worse mess in the top jobs system.

Merkel and Macron split over Weber presidency

EU heads of government have their first face-to-faces discussions after the European elections on who should lead the EU commission. They are unlikely to decide quickly - with the parliament also divided over the candidates.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  5. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  7. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  8. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  9. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  10. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North

Latest News

  1. EU goes on holiday as new UK PM arrives This WEEK
  2. Survey: Half of EU staff 'don't know' ethics rules
  3. Von der Leyen signals soft touch on migrants, rule of law
  4. Timmermans: von der Leyen will be tough on rule of law
  5. Timmermans trolls 'idiot' Brexit negotiators
  6. Rudderless Europe: Will real Germany please stand up?
  7. PiS & Fidesz claim credit for von der Leyen victory
  8. Von der Leyen faces gender battle for commission posts

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us