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.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    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.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora