- Investigation conducted at the end May 2022 finds that the majority of the general population in both countries regard the US-German partnership as crucial for world stability
- Defending democracy, climate change and economic growth are priorities for Germans and Americans
- The measures taken by the two governments to respond to the Russian invasion of Ukraine created trust
- Younger generations in both countries believe the partnership’s best days are ahead
BERLIN and NEW YORK, June 13, 2022 /PRNewswire/ —
“The State of Trust and the American-German Partnership: A Transatlantic Survey” (link) was released today ahead of the 2022 German-American Conference hosted by Atlantik-Brücke and the American Council on Germany be held June 13-14 at the Allianz Forum in Berlin.
The study surveyed a total of 4,000 Americans and Germans – nationally representative of their respective general populations – to understand their confidence in the stability of the US-German partnership, their attitudes towards the role of government and business in restoring confidence in democracies, and their views on the global challenges facing the two countries.
The survey was jointly commissioned by the American Council on Germany and Atlantik-Brücke, both in their 70se anniversary year. It was conducted by the opinion polling institute Edelman Data & Intelligence (DxI) and underwritten by Allianz SE.
Key findings include:
- Confidence in the transatlantic partnership is high in both countries. However, American participants have more confidence in the Federal Republic of Germany and its institutions than the reverse. (Company: UNITED STATES 58% / TBS 51%, Government: UNITED STATES 55% / GER 54%, NGOs: UNITED STATES 55% / TBS 51%, Media: UNITED STATES 53% / GER 44%).
- The vast majority of the two countries believe that the partnership is now more necessary than ever (UNITED STATES 70%, GER 75%) and plays a crucial role for stability in the world (UNITED STATES 73%, GER 71%).
- While US participants are more optimistic about the partnership and believe its best days are ahead (UNITED STATES 55% vs. GER 46%), the positive scores in each country are mainly driven by younger generations, particularly Millennials in the US and Gen Z in the US. Germany.
A united defense
Survey participants recognize that the foundations of the partnership are rooted in its military and defense alliances (UNITED STATES 74%, TBS 76%), trade and commerce being also fundamental (UNITED STATES 74%, GER 79%). The pooling of military resources is an absolute priority for nearly 30% of American participants and 39% of German participants.
The response to the war in Ukraine and the actions of relatively new administrations in the United States and Germany helped build trust in the partnership.
Prioritizing climate, jobs and democracy
There is alignment that tackling climate change is currently a top priority (UNITED STATES 31%, GER 39%). More US respondents say economic growth and job creation should be the future priorities (42%), when asked to choose three priorities from a list of issues. In contrast, almost half of the German respondents see climate change as the main future priority.
Strengthening democracy is a core common value. In Germany, it is the second highest priority, just behind the fight against climate change. For Americans, it is the second priority, just behind economic growth and job creation. Defining and articulating a common vision of democracy will only further strengthen the trust between the two nations.
The data reveals opportunities to demonstrate how tackling climate change can benefit economic growth, create jobs and, in turn, stabilize and strengthen democratic societies.
Business competence and long term build trust
Participants from both countries report positive perceptions of each other’s business competence and reliability. Trust in companies is based on three pillars: historical commercial relations, respect for the quality of the products and services provided and the ability to innovate. However, for Germans, differing views on free trade undermine trust in American business, and a lack of confidence to regulate fairly and transparently was the main source of German distrust of the American government.
The majority of respondents expect governments and business to co-lead the partnership and continue to build trust with transparency and a focus on common long-term goals that balance both economic growth and responses climatic.
Next Generation Optimism
The survey found that men, older and wealthier groups generally trust partnership more. Notably, a majority of young Americans and Germans, particularly millennials, expressed confidence in the partnership (69% for both UNITED STATES and all).
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SOURCEAllianz SE; Atlantic-Brücke; American Council on Germany