Eight-in-10 Believe U.S., EU Must Work Together to Defend Shared Values
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A new survey released today by Ipsos in partnership with the American Edge Project (AEP) shows that voters on both sides of the Atlantic are aligned on a common set of values – and alarmed about China’s growing tech threat. The poll comes on the heels of a productive G7 summit and ahead of a new technology and trade council established between the United States and the European Union.
Voters in the United States and Europe are clear-eyed about what it will take to counter China’s increasingly confrontational geopolitical maneuvers and influence campaigns. As a result, voters are calling for greater cooperation among transatlantic allies to defend their shared values, confront common threats, and preserve the economic and security benefits of today’s internet technologies. To do so, voters want a coalition of democratic nations to lead the way and set the rules and standards for the internet.
“The consensus measured by this five-nation survey is as clear as it is compelling – and must further strengthen our resolve to keep the internet free and accessible to all,” said former Supreme Allied Commander at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and commander of U.S. Southern Command Admiral James Stavridis, USN (Ret.). “Western democracies share a deep appreciation for our shared values, as well as an equally strong desire to ensure the internet reflects, rather than restricts, those principles.”
“In the competition between ‘techno-democracies’ like the United States, EU, and UK versus ‘techno-autocracies’ like Russia and China, it’s vital that America work alongside our transatlantic partners to defend our interests and advance our values. If we don’t, we risk ceding our technological leadership to countries with diametrically different values,” said former White House Counterterrorism and Homeland Security Advisor Frances Townsend. “We agree with Americans across the political spectrum and urge U.S. policymakers to protect an open and accessible internet as the looming threat posed by ‘techno-autocracies’ intensifies.”
This poll was conducted by Ipsos, on behalf of the American Edge Project, and surveyed 1,000 registered voters in the United States, 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 between May 19 and May 27, 2021. Key findings include:
- U.S. and European voters are reaffirming their shared values – and view China warily. Voter sentiment across the surveyed countries indicates that the alliance is fundamentally strong. By a six-to-one ratio, Americans believe Europe shares its values more than China does. Similarly, UK voters are seven times more likely to say the United States shares their values compared to China; Belgian voters are five times more likely, French voters are five times more likely, and German voters are three times more likely. U.S. and European voters also agree that China “promotes censorship of ideas” (78% in U.S., 73% in Europe), “uses state-sponsored technology companies to discriminate and repress minorities (73% in U.S. and Europe), and “supports surveillance of political opponents” (72% in U.S., 70% in Europe). Accordingly, these voters also agree “we must protect an open, accessible, and free internet in the U.S./EU” (86% in U.S., 84% in Europe).
- Voters on both sides of the Atlantic agree that China is an economic and security threat that must be checked urgently. Overwhelming majorities agree that “the way that the Chinese and Russian governments approach the rules governing technology is a threat to the U.S./EU” (82% in U.S., 70% in Europe), and that “China’s growing influence is a threat to the U.S./EU economy” (77% in U.S., 72% in EU). Unsurprisingly, voters are also alarmed by the prospect of “foreign countries gaining a technological advantage over the U.S. and Europe” (83% concern in U.S., 79% in Europe). This is likely because they agree that the more China and Russia control the global internet, the more it will hurt their national security and their democracies.
- In response, U.S. and European voters are calling for greater cooperation with each other to balance China’s growing influence. Voters surveyed across the Western alliance strongly agree that “we should work with our allies in the U.S. and Europe against common threats” (87% in U.S., 82% in Europe); “Europe and the U.S. should work together to defend our shared values” (86% in U.S., 81% in Europe); and that “the EU and the U.S. should work together to preserve the economy, national security, and other benefits of today’s internet and related technology” (82% in U.S., 80% in Europe). These voters recognize that there is strength in unity and want a coalition of democratic nations–not China–to set the rules and standards for the internet.
The research found that as U.S. and EU negotiators draw close to a comprehensive technology and trade partnership, their voters are firmly behind them. Voters believe the United States and their European allies champion a common set of values that both China and Russia fundamentally oppose, and that without stronger multilateral ties, China’s technological and political ascendancy threatens their way of life.
About the American Edge Project: The American Edge Project is a newly formed coalition dedicated to the proposition that American innovators are an essential part of U.S. economic health, national security, and individual freedoms. For more information, visit https://americanedgeproject.org/.
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