Most europeans rejoiced at Joe Biden’s win in the November united state presidential election, but they carry out not think he can help America do a comeback as the pre-eminent global leader.Europeans’ attitudes towards the united States have actually undergone a huge change. Majorities in key member states now think the united state political mechanism is broken, and that Europe cannot just rely on the us to safeguard it.They advice the EU and/or their own countries’ equipment much more positively than that of the us – and look come Berlin rather than Washington together the most necessary partner.There space geopolitical consequences to American weakness. A bulk believe the China will certainly be much more powerful 보다 the us within a decade and would desire their nation to stay neutral in a conflict between the 2 superpowers. Two-thirds that respondents thought the EU should develop its defence capacities.There is a an excellent chance because that a renewal of Atlanticism, yet Washington cannot take European alignment versus China because that granted. Windy opinion will have a bigger impact on the partnership than it when did, and also needs to it is in taken into account.

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Americans have a new president yet not a new country. While most Europeans rejoiced in ~ Joe Biden’s win in the November us presidential election, they execute not think he can aid America do a comeback as the pre-eminent worldwide leader. This is the an essential finding of a pan-European inspection of much more than 15,000 world in 11 countries commissioned by the european Council on foreign Relations, and also conducted in November and also December by Datapraxis and YouGov.

Our survey proved that Europeans’ attitudes towards the joined States have actually undergone a huge change. Majorities in crucial member states now think the us political mechanism is broken, the China will be an ext powerful 보다 the united state within a decade, and also that europe cannot rely on the us to defend them. They are drawing radical consequences from this lessons. Large numbers think Europeans should invest in their very own defence and also look to Berlin quite than Washington as their most crucial partner. They desire to be tougher with the united state on economic issues. And, fairly than aligning with Washington, they want their nations to continue to be neutral in a conflict between the US and also Russia or China.

In the run-up come the Iraq war in 2003, European countries were divided on whether to align v George Bush’s America over values (in Robert Kagan’s famous formulation, Americans to be from Mars, europeans from Venus) but few doubted his strength to shape the world. The contrary is true with Biden. Many Europeans believe in his promise come re-engage internationally yet – after ~ witnessing America’s solution to covid-19 and domestic polarisation – many doubt Washington’s capacity to shape the world.

These divisions run with European nations rather than in between them. Quite than dividing Europe into its ‘new’ and also ‘old’ components as in 2003, we can identify four new tribes based upon their see of strength in the twenty-first century.

During the cold war, publicly opinion only played a secondary duty in the transatlantic relationship, which was taken into consideration a raison d’état by policy elites. But the transatlantic partnership in the 2020s is seen as much less existential in both Europe and also America – and has because that that reason been politicised. It is sufficient to look at the mind-blowing performance of the American stock market in a year when American the economic climate is in a coma come conclude that, in a time of plague, sentiments space running the world. We have the right to see that public moods have actually policy consequences.

Happy through Biden, yet don’t to trust American voters

Across the 11 countriescovered through’s poll, 53 every cent the respondents think that Biden’s victory makes a positive distinction to their countries, and also 57 every cent the it is advantageous for the EU. Also in Hungary and also Poland, whose populations have actually been amongst the most pro-Trump in Europe, an ext people say the his electoral defeat is good for their nations than the opposite.


But, back a bulk of Europeans room happy with Biden’s election, numerous do no trust the American electorate no to vote for one more Donald trump card in 4 years. Looking at the results for Europe as a whole, 32 per cent of all respondents to’s poll agree that, after ~ voting because that Trump in 2016, Americans can not be trusted – and only 27 every cent disagree with this declare (the rest do not have actually an opinion on the issue). Most strikingly, 53 per cent of German respondents say that, ~ Trump, Americans deserve to no longer be trusted – make them clear outliers ~ above this point. Just in Hungary and also Poland execute significantly much more people disagree with that statement than agree v it.


Beyond old and brand-new Europe: Europe’s brand-new political tribes

While European countries used to it is in divided around the US in between old and new Europe, our poll reflects that there has actually been a the majority of convergence on crucial questions in public opinion. There are still differences in just how Europeans view the US, yet they have more to perform with perceptions of its loved one power 보다 concerns about values. While, at the time of the intrusion of Iraq, many Europeans thought their continent to be weak and also America was strong, the fact is that Europeans space now more positive around themselves and more sceptical around America’s power and also political system.

Let’s start with just how Europeans see themselves.’s poll shows that, contradictory to expectations, castle have come to be slightly more positive about the EU in the past two years, in spite of the old continent’s fail to handle the covid-19 crisis. In Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and also Sweden – nations in i beg your pardon conducted a poll two years earlier – the mean share of human being who say the the EU’s political device works very well or fairly well has actually increased indigenous 46 every cent to 48 per cent due to the fact that January 2019. Meanwhile, those who say the the device is somewhat or totally broken has lessened from 45 every cent to 43 per cent throughout this period. Awareness of the EU have actually improved everywhere apart from Hungary, the Netherlands, and also Spain.

There is a contrast in between the atmosphere of europe’s regions. In southerly Europe, a bulk say the the EU’s political device is broken. Through contrast, a bulk of respondent in north Europe (Denmark, Sweden, Germany, and also the Netherlands) and also in central Europe (Poland and also Hungary) say the the EU device is working. People’s mindsets towards the EU political system frequently seem come correlate with their see of their own country’s system. In northern Europe, most people are encouraged that their nationwide political mechanism is functioning – and, for plenty of respondents, this correlates through a belief in the success of the EU. In contrast, majorities in Spain, Italy, and France for both their very own political system and the EU’s as broken. Poland, Portugal, and also Hungary room exceptions come the rule: majorities in these countries think that their nationwide political device is broken, however they seem to check out Brussels as their salvation.

But while europeans are more positive around the EU, they room very downhearted about the US. Over 6 in ten respondents throughout the 11 surveyed countries think that the united state political mechanism is totally or rather broken, and this is additionally the see of majorities in every country aside native Hungary and Poland (where 56 every cent that Hungarians and 58 every cent that Poles believe that the united state political mechanism works well or, at least, somewhat well).


Many Europeans’ late of the us political mechanism as damaged seems to do them doubt whether America will have the ability to return to global leadership in the manner the Biden promised once he stated “America is back”. Across the 11 surveyed countries, 51 per cent that respondents perform not subscribe to the view that, under Biden, the us is most likely to repair its internal divisions and invest in solving international worries such as climate change, peace in the center East, relations with China, and European security.

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Across the 11 surveyed countries, 6 out of ten respondents think that China will become an ext powerful than the united state within the following ten years. The watch that China will certainly overtake the us is common by 79 every cent of the general public in Spain, and by 72 per cent in Portugal and also Italy. Citizens of Hungary and also Denmark are the many optimistic about the future that American strength but, also in these 2 states, 48 every cent of respondent are persuaded that China will certainly overtake America in the following decade.