The Bright Coast

Progressive Thoughts from San Diego Alums on Law, Politics, and Culture

Soaring European Support for US Foreign Policy

Posted by demkid on September 10, 2009

Some stunning figures in a new poll released yesterday by the German Marshall Fund of the United States:

To Europeans, President Obama is certainly no George W. Bush. Support of the current American president jumped 80 percentage points in Germany, 77 points in France, 70 in Portugal, and 64 in Italy. No other single annual indicator changed this much in the eight years of Transatlantic Trends. Even in Turkey, where only half the respondents (50%) support Obama, that backing represents a 42 percentage-point increase over approval of President Bush (8%) in 2008.

I won’t go into much analysis concerning these figures, and there’s much more raw data on foreign policy and other issues on the website (topline data here, key findings here), but I’ll just say that I’m definitely thrilled that there apparently has been such a dramatic shift in opinion by Europeans towards the United States and its president.  As both a US and EU citizen, it’s refreshing that Europeans now consider the United States to be more of a partner, rather than an arrogant adversary.  I hope these numbers continue to improve throughout the Obama Administration and beyond, but of course a lot of this has to do with how hard US administrations work to combat an isolationist perception.  A large focus has to be out now on further mending fences with Eastern Europe, and countries like Turkey (where still only 22% of the public has a favorable view of the United States!)

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