Wednesday, September 07, 2005

They still don't like us. Sort of.

The 2005 Transatlantic Trends poll has just been released and the results are, well, interesting. The poll, assembled by such diverse partners as the German Marshall Fund of the United States, Compagnia di San Paolo, Fundaçào Luso-Americana, and Fundación BBVA, consists of a widespread sampling of respondents from the United States and nine European nations as well as Turkey (on select questions). Some of the key findings:

Over the last year, have relations between Europe and the United States improved, worsened, or stayed the same? Roughly 50 percent of all the respondents, including in this country, say things are the same (which isn't that good).

Bush's disapproval ratings in Europe are still staggeringly high, at about 72 percent. (His approval ratings in this country aren't exactly great either.) The one exception being the Poles, who give the president a mere 36 percent disapproval rating. We should all grill some kielbasa tonight in their honor.

On the thermometer scale of "Nation's feelings toward the U.S." the warmest readings, at a mild 57 degrees, come from the U.K. and Italy. The only countries giving us readings below 50 degrees are Spain (a cool 42 degrees) and Turkey (a frigid 28 degrees!).

Despite the recent rejections of the E.U. constitution in France and the Netherlands, all of the European countries polled give favorable ratings to the E.U. (between 57 and 74 percent).

Perhaps most interesting is this question: Should the European Union have a single permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council?

Fully 60 percent of Europeans say yes! This means they would also be willing to give up French and British seats. Sixty-four percent of Germans also agree, clearly contradicting Chancellor Schröder's intent of procuring a separate seat for Germany. Even France is willing to surrender (pardon the expression) its seat in favor of a pan-European one, at an astounding 62 percent. Only 37 percent of Brits favor this plan, however.

When it comes to "democracy promotion," it seems the Europeans are more in favor of it (74 percent) than the Americans (51 percent). Even more bizarre is the Europeans' affinity to the Republican position (76 percent) as opposed to the Democrats (43 percent). But when you break it down further, the Europeans are largely in favor of promoting democracy by peaceful means as monitoring elections (83 percent) rather than military force (32 percent), whereas Republicans favor military force by 57 percent (but also support monitoring elections by large margins). Strangely, only 64 percent of Democrats support monitoring elections--that's right, even less than the Europeans.

Eighty percent of Europeans think a more powerful E.U. should serve to cooperate and not compete with the United States.

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