News

    Obama Remains Popular in Europe

    A newly-released survey shows that U.S. President Barack Obama is vastly more popular in Europe than his predecessor, George W. Bush, but that transatlantic differences remain on critical foreign policy issues and global challenges. 

    The annual public opinion poll, conducted by the German Marshall Fund of the United States, or GMF, shows that 77 percent of respondents in the European Union plus Turkey approve of President Obama's handling of international affairs.  By comparison, just 19 percent backed former President Bush's foreign policies in 2008.

    GMF Transatlantic Fellow Bruce Stokes presented the findings at a Washington forum.  He said the so-called "Obama bounce" is the biggest ever recorded for a U.S. president in modern history.

    "The numbers jump in an almost not-credible fashion," said Stokes.  "If this did not reflect the findings that other surveys have found as well, [then] one might want to question these numbers.  But the reality is we feel very confident in these numbers because others surveys have found similar results."

    The upswing in sentiment toward America's president is most pronounced in Western Europe.  German approval, for example, jumped 80 percent since Mr. Obama came to office.  Eastern European nations also recorded higher favorability ratings for the U.S. president, but the increase was more modest.  Half of Turkish respondents back Mr. Obama, compared to 8 percent that supported President Bush.

    According to Bruce Stokes, the difference in public sentiment across Europe is significant.

    "Western Europeans are just much more confident in President Obama than Central and Eastern Europeans," he said. "Central and Eastern Europeans, over half the population has confidence in the president. That is not bad.  It is just compared to Western Europe that you see a real distinction."

    Is Mr. Obama's popularity in Europe bridging transatlantic gulfs over thorny international and global questions?  Not to any significant degree, according to the poll.  At a time of expanding U.S. military engagement in Afghanistan, a majority of Europeans are pessimistic about the prospects for achieving stability in the country and favor reducing or withdrawing NATO troops deployed there.

    When it comes to Iran, a smaller percentage of Europeans than Americans favor maintaining a military option to prevent Tehran from building a nuclear arsenal.

    On combating global warming, the poll shows Europeans, on average, are far more concerned about climate change than Americans.

    "If these differences cannot be bridged, it is quite likely that the Obama honeymoon [in Europe] could be shortlived," said Bruce Stokes.

    But the poll showed continued majority support in Europe for NATO, as well as a free market and liberalized trade.  The survey did not reveal strong resentment against the United States for its role in precipitating last year's global financial crisis.

    The presidential popularity findings mirror a global poll conducted earlier this year by the Pew Research Center.  The Pew survey concluded that -- with the exception of Israel -- much of the world has come to view the United States more favorably under President Obama's leadership.

    At home, Mr. Obama's favorability ratings have declined in recent months.  The latest Gallup poll shows 52 percent of Americans approve of the president's performance, down about 20 points from the early weeks of his administration.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora