Berlin, 7 May 2020
A survey commissioned by the Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute (DOC) to coincide with the 75th anniversary of VE Day reveals a greater desire for cooperation among some of the nations most affected by World War II, and suggests that society-to-society cooperation in areas such as science, environmental protection or business are more likely to succeed than top-down political initiatives.
The survey, carried out by Ipsos, polled more than a thousand respondents in each of France, Germany, Poland and Russia under the title “East-West perspectives: Is what was once divided growing together?” Responses were gathered by Ipsos in April 2020 among a representative sample weighted by age, gender and region.
Half or more of German, French and Russian respondents in the IPSOS-DOC survey agreed that European countries and Russia should cooperate more in many areas such as scientific exchange and environmental protection, with support greater cooperation particularly strong in Russia (70%).
Yet the results also suggest a significant degree of pragmatism on both sides when it comes to world order and geopolitics, with the idea of a “grand alliance” between Europe and Russia to act as a counterweight to US and/or Chinese dominance finding little resonance. Similarly, only around 40% of those polled in Germany, Russia and Poland and less than one-third of French respondents believe that European countries and Russia share common cultural values.
The IPSOS-DOC survey also revealed a significant lack of trust in institutions in all countries surveyed, with a third or less of respondents believing that political and legislative institutions work for the benefit and wellbeing of citizens.
Jean-Christophe Bas, CEO of the DOC, said:
“The world is at a crossroads once again, and relations between Europe and its largest neighbour form a key piece of the puzzle that is the future shape of the world order. The results of our survey are very timely as we reflect on the 75th anniversary of one of the great turning points in global history, and should give us pause for thought on a number of key questions regarding the basis for future fruitful cooperation between Europe and Russia.”
To commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day and reflect on whether the COVID-19 pandemic will mark a similar turning point for global order the DOC will host a webinar on 8 May with speakers including former French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, former Russian Ambassador to the EU and Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Chizhov, and former US Deputy Assistant Secretary for European Affairs Dan Hamilton. The webinar is organised in partnership with La Fondation Prospective et Innovation, chaired by Jean-Pierre Raffarin. More information can be found here: https://doc-research.org/our-events/75-years-world-war-two-world-crossroads/
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