Most Europeans say US political system is broken despite onset of new administration



    Most Europeans say US political system is broken despite onset of new administration

AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File

Six in ten Europeans say the US political system is broken while nearly one in three think that the US cannot be trusted after voting for Donald Trump in 2016.

That is according to a new European Council on Foreign Relations survey of 15,000 people across eleven European nations released a day ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden.

Most significantly, around 53 per cent of Germans said that after Trump, Americans can no longer be trusted.

Only in Hungary and Poland did more people think Americans could be trusted than the opposite.

Yet many Europeans think positively about the new US president with 53 per cent of respondents saying that Biden’s victory makes a positive difference in their countries, and 57 per cent saying that it is beneficial for the EU.

Majorities in Hungary and Poland also viewed Biden’s victory as a positive development.

But nearly one in three Europeans think the US will be so consumed by its internal problems that there will be “little scope left to invest in solving global problems.”

“While, at the time of the invasion of Iraq, most Europeans thought their continent was weak and America was strong, the truth is that Europeans are now more positive about themselves and more sceptical about America’s power and political system,” writes ECFR director Mark Leonard and Chairman of the Centre for Liberal Strategies Ivan Krastev.

These comments come despite Biden’s promise that “America is back, ready to lead the world, not retreat from it, once again sit at the head of the table”.

Just yesterday, Sabine Weyland, the EU’s director-general for trade, said that US-EU relations will not go back to what they were before, insisting that the world has changed.

Many Europeans believe the global order is changing, with other potential powers having more influence.

Six out of ten Europeans say that China will become more powerful than the US within the next ten years. In Spain, 79 per cent of respondents said China would become more powerful than the US, and 72 per cent agreed in Portugal and Italy.

Europeans were also favourable towards investment in European defence, the survey showed.

At least 60 per cent of respondents in the eleven countries said they cannot rely on the US to defend them and that there needs to be investment in European defence.


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