This is an excerpt from the 2012 Transatlantic Trends report. Use the navigation links at the bottom of the page to advance to other pages of the report.
This year marks the eleventh anniversary of the Transatlantic Trends surveys, which started in 2002 as World Views. Over more than a decade, Transatlantic Trendshas become the preeminent source of U.S. and European public opinion on a host of transatlantic issues, including common foreign policy challenges, support for NATO, the economy, and the rise of other world powers. The data provided by the surveys have become an invaluable tool for policymakers, the media, think tanks, and academics who have an impact on foreign policy decisions within their respective countries. In addition to producing original research, the survey’s goal is also to foster debate on the strategic policy goals, objectives, and values of the United States and Europe as members of the transatlantic community.The decade reflected by our polls has been a tumultuous one for both Europe and the United States, one that has been marred by a marked divide between the two sides of the Atlantic about the U.S. intervention in Iraq, the alliance’s role in Afghanistan, and the global economic crisis. Nothing has been more emblematic of the transatlantic relationship than how Europeans related to the two U.S. presidents of this time. The low approval of George W. Bush’s management of foreign policy quickly turned into euphoric optimism when Barack Obama was elected in 2008. This seemingly overnight change of public opinion toward the U.S. president demonstrated that the basics of transatlantic cooperation remained strong and had not eroded during Bush’s presidency, despite his unpopularity among the European public.
Russia has been added to the Transatlantic Trends survey this year, and as you will see in the data, it makes a fascinating addition. It is the first non-Western country to be included in Transatlantic Trends and adds a new perspective and geographical diversity to the survey during a time of heightened interest in transatlantic relations in a globalized world.
President, German Marshall Fund of the United States