Transatlantic Trends 2012
Over the past year, policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic have had to face grave economic and foreign policy challenges, heightened in a number of countries by the prospect of upcoming national elections. These challenges include the impact of half a decade of economic turmoil, concerns about the future of the political revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa, Iran’s nuclear program, power transitions (or the lack thereof) in Asia and Russia, preparations for NATO winding down its mission in Afghanistan, and a looming civil war in Syria. Transatlantic Trends paints a picture of a complex relationship between the United States and Europe, and how they respond to global challenges.
In the context of mounting global challenges, the survey uncovered some remarkable findings. Among others, four stand out: EU respondents’ steadfast support for the European Union (less so for the euro) in the midst of crisis, despite broad divergences of opinion across the EU; a broad disenchantment with domestic economic institutions and norms; Americans’ renewed focus on Europe, despite the announced defense “pivot” to Asia; and the fact that the views of Russian respondents, included in Transatlantic Trends for the first time, differ from the perspectives of Americans and Europeans in some important ways.