The Guardian reports on the results of the large-scale opinion polls held in European countries.
The coronavirus crisis caused Europeans to worsen their attitudes toward the United States, according to new opinion polls conducted by Datapraxis and YouGov in late April or early May for the European Analytical Council of the European Council for Foreign Relations (ECFR). In almost every polling country, most people said they were amazed at how Donald Trump coped with the coronavirus crisis and had lost confidence in the United States as a world leader. Negative attitudes toward the United States were most pronounced in Denmark (71%), Portugal (70%), France (68%), Germany (65%) and Spain (64%). In France, 46%, while in Germany, 42% said their opinion of the United States “worsened” during the pandemic.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently noted that the world should cease to take for granted the US desire to be a world leader. Surveys show that public opinion has already realized this shift.
Commenting on the new data, political experts say: “Many were shocked by the chaotic reaction of the United States to COVID-19; the lack of solidarity with Europeans, manifested in the fact that on March 12, the American borders for members of the Schengen zone were closed; the inability to become a leader in the fight against the coronavirus crisis at the global level - and simply non-participation in the process (apart from the verbal war with the World Health Organization). ”
Confidence in the future of the transatlantic partnership is so low that only 2% of respondents in Germany and 3% in France said they would expect US support when Europe rebuilds its economy. “Europeans have realized that the United States is no longer necessarily their friend in difficult times”, - experts commented.
Evidence suggests that a shift in European sentiment shows that Europeans seem to have ceased to believe in America itself as a force of good and have become disillusioned with their inability to lead the world. This is not just a hostile attitude towards Donald Trump personally, although Trump has been talking about his antipathy to the European Union for many years and accuses him of “tearing off” the USA.
According to polls, Europe is ready to learn how to live without the USA and take responsibility in such serious situations as a pandemic and climate crisis. Despite the disappointment with how uncoordinated measures of the governments of individual countries during the crisis, Europeans clearly support the expansion of cooperation within the EU.
The survey also showed:
* increased support for tackling climate change. More than 40% of respondents in six out of nine countries stated that they support the implementation of climate commitments even more than before the pandemic;
* growing negative in relation to China. More than 60% of the inhabitants of France and Denmark reported that their opinion about this country has worsened;
* broad support (57%) for tightening controls on the external borders of Europe, which is probably due to a sense of insecurity;
* lack of changes in relation to Russia. The only exception is Italy, where almost a quarter of respondents said they now perceive Russia more positively. This was the result of actions at the beginning of the outbreak, when Russia sent military doctors and food to the most affected region of Italy, Lombardy.