Transatlantic Trends 2021

Transatlantic opinion on global challenges

2021 opens a new chapter for the transatlantic relationship. The change of the U.S. administration as well as the political, economic, and societal implications of the coronavirus pandemic have redefined transatlantic policy dialogues. New priorities have emerged, as the calls for increased cooperation around climate change and common values signal an opportunity for an update of the transatlantic agenda.

In parallel, transatlantic partners face a series of structural challenges: The articulation of cooperation and competition with China, ongoing security crises in the European neighborhoods and the Indo‐Pacific, and the risk of democratic backsliding require more cohesion on both sides of the Atlantic. These issues also reveal the different national perceptions of the global strategic environment, and could lead to divergent policy choices.

The transatlantic community can play an essential role in meeting the challenges of today and tomorrow, 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.

Transatlantic Trends 2021 includes the results of surveys conducted in 11 countries representing all corners of the transatlantic community: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The original data provided by this report is meant to be a helpful tool for policymakers, business leaders, experts, academia, and the media. It also aims at fostering relevant debates, strengthening mutual understanding, and building a positive agenda for transatlantic cooperation.

This research is not just transatlantic in focus—it is a true transatlantic collaboration between several U.S. and European organizations and institutions. The findings in the pages that follow benefit in intellectual richness from the diversity of perspectives that informed everything from framing the questions to interpreting the resulting data.

Divided into five chapters, Transatlantic Trends provides a detailed picture of transatlantic public opinion on core and contemporary issues: the transatlantic relationship; international security and defense; trade, economic, and technology policies; relations with China; and global challenges.

We are confident that these findings will advance the transatlantic conversation and meaningfully contribute to mutual understanding. As a community of shared values, the transatlantic alliance will be able to meet the challenges of 2021 and beyond by building on the priorities and interests expressed by its people.

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 | Transatlantic opinion on global challenges