Poll shows European disconnection from “cold war” with China

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The ECFR said its polls revealed growing skepticism towards Beijing and an unaffected negative perception of Moscow’s intentions.

But he also warned that the view that the EU was the institution “best placed to defend their interests and values” rather than national governments, carried the risk that Europeans could see Brussels as the “insulator. “of the” troubling problems “of the modern world. .

“Until now, only European institutions rather than European audiences are ready to see the world of tomorrow as a growing system of competition between democracy and authoritarianism”, said the ECFR in the report “What Europeans think of Cold American-Chinese War “.

“In itself, this gap in geopolitical views is not necessarily a sign of the diminishing importance of the Western alliance,” the report said.

“But it is a signal that in the event of a crisis, Brussels could be accused of being an American voice in Europe rather than a European voice in the world.

“The irony of Brussels’ new hawkishness is that in the eyes of many European leaders, a strong European foreign policy would allow the Union to become a sovereign and independent voice in international affairs,” he said.

“Our latest survey shows that a Cold War framing is likely to push back more voters than it attracts and that policymakers will need to advocate for a strong Atlantic alliance in a new way.

“To do this, they will need to focus less on ideological divisions and the need for alignment, and focus on demonstrating how a rebalanced alliance can strengthen and restore the sovereignty of European citizens in a dangerous world.”

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Washington has identified China as the greatest security threat to the United States and the world, while Brussels has said it wants to use “strategic autonomy” in its relations with China. The European Council, made up of the 27 EU heads of state, will meet in October to discuss China’s strategy, while there are also plans to host an EU-China summit before the end of the year.

The ECFR said the survey, conducted in May and June, made it clear that European citizens had been ambivalent about a new cold war even before last week’s announcement of the Aukus security alliance. between the United States, Australia and Great Britain, which excludes European countries and has raised more uncertainties on US-European cooperation on a Chinese strategy.

The survey participants came from 12 EU countries, including Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal , Spain and Sweden.

The survey results also contradicted the view that Europeans view Germany’s role as a divisive factor in EU foreign policy. Instead, the poll found that a large number of respondents trust Germany to defend their interests in a range of policy areas – from economics and security to issues of democracy and human rights. the man. Only 16% said they did not trust Germany at all to defend European interests.


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