Transatlantic Poll Finds Many Similarities Between U.S., Europe

Posted September 13th, 2012 at 2:45 pm (UTC-5)
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A survey of popular opinion in the United States and the European Union finds that the majority of Europeans still support the euro, despite economic difficulties; people on both sides of the Atlantic are disenchanted with their own economic institutions; and Russians, for the first time in 10 years, show a markedly different set of perspectives than Americans or western Europeans.

The Transatlantic Trends survey, released this week by the German Marshall Fund of the United States, shows the U.S. and western European nations mostly agree with their nations' international policies, but most — with the exception of wealthy nations Germany and Sweden — disapprove of their governments' economic policies. Disagreement was sharpest among the most troubled southern European nations.

The survey conducted in June of about 1,000 people each in 13 European Nations, the United States and Russia, showed that a majority in each nation believe their country's economic system benefits just a few people, rather than working fairly for everyone.

And opinion among Russians and, in some cases, Turks, differed markedly on international relations compared with western Europeans and Americans. Majorities in the U.S. and western Europe saw Russia unfavorably, while a majority of Turks view the E.U. and U.S. unfavorably.

When Russians were asked how much confidence they had in their own elections, 46 percent said they were not confident in their own elections process, which resulted in a new term as president this year for Vladimir Putin; while 43 percent they were confident.

In contrast, 69 percent of Russians polled said they had confidence in Mr. Putin, while only 37 percent said they trusted the national legislature.

This is the 10th year the Transatlantic Trends survey has taken place. The margin of error is plus or minus 5 percent.