A majority of Europeans believe that the American political system is in pieces, that China will be the world’s greatest power within a decade and that president-to-be Joe Biden will not be able to stop the decline of the United States.
A new poll from the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) think tank shows that most Europeans have welcomed Joe Biden’s victory in the U.S. the world leader par excellence.
“Europeans love Joe Biden, but they don’t think America will come back as a world leader,” said Mark Leonard, ECFR’s director. When George W. Bush was president, they were divided on how America should use its power. Now that Biden enters the White House, they are divided on whether America still has any power at all. ”
A total of about 15,000 people from eleven European countries took part in the survey at the end of last year. It is striking that the attitude of Europeans towards the United States “has undergone an enormous change”. The majority of respondents believe that the American political system is broken and that Europe cannot rely solely on the United States to defend the continent.
Moreover, most participants rate the political systems of the European Union and / or their own country much more positively than those of the United States. According to the ECFR study, most consider Berlin as the most important partner – rather than Washington.
China and Russia
At least half of respondents in all eleven countries surveyed believe their governments should remain neutral in any conflict between the United States and China, while some 40 percent of respondents say they would support Washington against Russia.
“Clearly, Trump’s tumultuous presidency has left an indelible mark on Europe’s attitude toward the US,” said co-author Ivan Krastev, chair of the Center for Liberal Strategies. “The majority of Europeans are now skeptical about the US’s ability to shape the world. It means that many, rightly or wrongly, want to opt for a more independent role for the EU in the world. ”