‘Toxic’ Trump Pushes Europeans’ Trust in America to Record Lows

Europeans were also found to be significantly disillusioned and distrustful of their own leaders, and the wider EU system. Polls conducted prior to the European Parliament elections in May showed three-quarters of Europeans felt their national political system, the European political system, or both, were broken.

A report published by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) based on a survey of 60,000 people in 14 European Union member states has found US President is unanimously seen as “toxic” by Europeans.

Released to coincide with the appointment of the new EU commission, the polling finds a majority of EU citizens in every country polled would prefer the EU to strike a middle way between Washington and Moscow, with respondents no longer believing the US can serve as the guarantor of their security.

Poland displayed the most pro-American sentiment, with 33 percent of respondents siding with the US on international issues – the number fell to just four percent in Austria.

Noting Europeans feel “unsettled”, the survey also found anywhere between 54 percent and 83 percent of respondents wanted their country to stay neutral in case of a dispute between the US and China. Again, Poles were the most pro-American of the nations surveyed, with 24 percent stating they’d like Warsaw to side with the US – only 4 percent of Austrians, 6 percent of Greeks, and 8 percent of Slovakians said the same.

“Our polling confirms that Trump is toxic in Europe, and that this is feeding into distrust of the US security guarantee. The fact Europeans are split on whether defence resources should go to the EU or NATO suggests that they no longer have the confidence in the alliance they once had. Europeans are ahead of their politicians in understanding the need for a stronger Europe in a world where it could be pushed around by ever more aggressive and nationalistic superpowers. They don’t need to be sold on the idea of European defence – they need to be sold on whether Europe can deliver,” report author Susi Dennison, Senior Policy Fellow and Director of the European Power programme at ECFR.

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