Almost nine-in-10 Believe the U.S. and Europe Must Work Together to Defend Shared Values
WASHINGTON, DC — A new survey released today by the American Edge Project (AEP) finds that voters on both sides of the Atlantic are aligned on a common set of values and share concerns about the growing technological threats posed by China and Russia.
The survey shows that voters are clear-eyed about what it will take to counter increasingly confrontational geopolitical maneuvers by China and hostilities by Russia leading to a land war in Europe. As a result, they are calling for the U.S. and Europe to work together to defend their shared values, confront common threats, and preserve the economic and security benefits of today’s internet technologies. To do so, they want a coalition of democratic nations to lead the way and set the rules and standards for the internet.
“Vast majorities of U.S. and Western voters are worried that technology gains by China and Russia threaten our collective security and our economies,” said Doug Kelly, CEO of American Edge. “Congress needs to listen to these voters and help accelerate, not undermine, U.S. innovation in order to protect against China and Russia’s ambitions.”
The poll surveyed 1,000 registered voters in the U.S., 1,000 registered voters in the United Kingdom, 1,000 registered voters in France, 1,000 registered voters in Germany, and 500 voters in Belgium (with Brussels considered the de facto capital of the European Union) between August 7 and August 21, 2022. The survey is a continuation of research that began in 2021, with a similar poll surveying a comparable audience.
Key findings include:
- U.S. and European voters are reaffirming their shared values – and view China and Russia warily. Voter sentiment across the surveyed countries indicates that the Western alliance is fundamentally strong. By nearly a six-to-one ratio, Americans believe Europe shares its values more than either China or Russia does. Similarly, UK voters are six times as likely to say the U.S. shares their values compared to China and Russia; Belgian voters are four times as likely, French voters are five times as likely, and German voters are six times as likely. U.S. and European voters also agree that China “promotes censorship of ideas” (68% in U.S., 62% in Europe) and “uses state-sponsored technology companies to discriminate and repress minorities” (66% in U.S., 61% in Europe). Accordingly, these voters also agree “we must protect an open, accessible, and free internet in the U.S./EU” (80% in U.S. and Europe).
- Voters on both sides of the Atlantic see China and Russia as economic and security threats, which must be checked urgently. Western voters are concerned by the threats posed by Russia and China – nearly nine in 10 are concerned with “Russia’s invasion on Ukraine emboldening China to invade Taiwan” (88% in U.S., 87% in Europe) and “Russia attempting to annex countries in Eastern Europe” (89% in U.S., 88% in Europe). Given these tensions, an overwhelming majority of voters in the U.S. and Europe agree that the growing technological influence of China and Russia is a threat to their country’s national security (76% in U.S., 72% in Europe) and economy (76% in U.S., 70% in Europe). Unsurprisingly, voters are also alarmed by the prospect of “foreign countries gaining a technological advantage over the U.S. and Europe” (86% concern in U.S., 80% in Europe).
- In response, an increasing number of U.S. and European voters are calling for greater cooperation with each other to balance China and Russia’s growing technological influence. Voters surveyed across the Western alliance strongly and increasingly agree that “we should work with our allies in the U.S. and Europe against common adversaries” (89% in U.S., up five-points since last year;88% in Europe, up nine-points since last year); that “Europe and the U.S. should work together to defend our shared values” (87% in U.S., up one-point since last year; 88% in Europe, up seven-points since last year); that “if the U.S. and Europe don’t work together against common adversaries like Russia and China, the security and prosperity of Europe and the U.S. are in jeopardy” (86% in U.S., 87% in Europe); and that “Europe and the U.S. should reduce regulations and barriers between each other” (82% in U.S., up 15-points since last year;85% in Europe, up 11-points since last year). These voters recognize that there is strength in unity, and want a coalition of democratic nations to set the rules and standards for the internet(coalition preferred by 45% in U.S. and 44% in Europe).
The bottom line: With threats emanating from China and Russia, U.S. and European voters want to see Western partnerships prevail. They believe the U.S. and Europe champion a common set of values that China and Russia fundamentally oppose, and that without stronger multilateral ties, the technological edge enjoyed by the U.S. and Europe could be at risk, along with its related economic and security benefits.
THE AMERICAN EDGE PROJECT is a coalition of domestic organizations representing a cross-section of U.S. innovators who are dedicated to telling the story about technology’s positive influence on America’s economy and the vital role innovation plays in our society. Former New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, former U.S. Representative Chris Carney, and former Federal Election Commission Chairman Bradley A. Smith are directors of the American Edge Project. AEP’s National Security Advisory Board is comprised of Former White House Counterterrorism and Homeland Security Advisor Frances Townsend; retired four-star General Joseph F. Dunford Jr., United States Marine Corps (USMC), who served as former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and former Acting Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Michael J. Morell. Former U.S. Senators Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and Kent Conrad (D-ND) serve as Co-Chairs of the Project’s Economic Advisory Board. Former U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and former U.S. Representative Greg Walden (R-OR) serve as Co-Chairs of the Project’s Open & Accessible Internet Advisory Board. Visit AmericanEdgeProject.org for more information.