The reputation of the United States as a leading global power has suffered badly in France and Germany due to Washington’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, a poll by the German Marshall Fund and the Bertelsmann Foundation showed on Monday, on the eve of President Joe Biden’s trip to Europe.
The survey results saying Biden had not won back the standing of the U.S. as it was before COVID-19 struck with one-third to half of Europeans no longer thinking the U.S. is the leading global power, while the perception within the United States is that U.S. influence abroad has risen.
“The first three months of the Biden administration have not affected French and German views of U.S. influence in the world. These numbers are in line with the results of the 2020 survey, which had fallen by about 10 points from the pre-pandemic numbers, to the advantage of China,” the study of views in 11 countries said.
The strongest perceptions of American influence abroad are in the United States (81%, an increase by 5 points from 2020), Canada (68%), and Spain (65%), the highest level in Europe.
Three out of five respondents in Turkey (63%), Sweden (63%), Poland (62%), and the UK (58%) see the U.S. as the most influential player, whereas this is only the case for just over half of the French (56%), Germans (55%), and Italians (51%).
Only 51% of Germans see the United States as a reliable partner, rising to 60% in France, 67% in Britain and 76% in Poland. Fewer than a quarter of Turks trust the U.S. A majority of respondents surveyed still think that the United States should be involved in the defence and security of Europe, except in Sweden, where views are divided, and Turkey.
“Conducted online between March 29 and April 13, the survey sampled 1,000 adults in each of the 11 countries – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States,” Reuters writes.
Biden starts his first European tour as president on Wednesday to attend G7, NATO and EU summits, facing the challenge of repairing transatlantic ties damaged by his predecessor Donald Trump, who undermined European faith in Washington by withdrawing from international agreements and with his sharp criticism of NATO.