2020 has been marked by an unprecedented series of political, economic, and societal shocks that have tested the resilience of the transatlantic relationship. From the Covid-19 pandemic and its global implications, to regional issues such as the risk of military escalation with Iran, to purely transatlantic matters like the withdrawal of American troops from Germany, the United States and Europe have experienced a multiplicity of crises that challenge the terms of the transatlantic partnership.
At the same time, the strategic competition between the United States and China has become more central in world affairs. For communities on both sides of the Atlantic, the Covid-19 crisis has revealed the rise of China’s political and economic influence. While the United States is gearing up to face this new geopolitical environment, Europeans have yet to define their role and strategic ambitions.
The transatlantic community can play an essential role in meeting these challenges, but for us to work in common purpose, we need to understand how those challenges look to our respective societies. That insight - the need to anchor this cooperation in the perceptions and desires of the population - is at the core of the Transatlantic Trends project.
The 2020 edition of Transatlantic Trends, conducted in cooperation with the German Marshall Fund of the United States and the Bertelsmann Foundation, includes the results of surveys carried out in the United States, France and Germany, first in January 2020 and then again in May, in order to gauge the impact of the pandemic on the public perceptions of different foreign policy issues. The original data provided by this report is meant to be a helpful tool for policymakers, the media, the business sector, and researchers. It also aims at fostering relevant debates, strengthening mutual understanding, and building a positive agenda for transatlantic cooperation.
Divided into five chapters, Transatlantic Trends provides a detailed picture of transatlantic public opinion on five core and contemporary issues: the transatlantic relationship, international security and defense, international trade, relations with China and digital issues.