Economy

Climate change, global health top priority for transatlantic cooperation, poll finds

Trade, counter-terrorism closely follow them, according to survey by German Marshall Fund and the Bertelsmann Foundation

Aysu Bicer   | 07.06.2021
Climate change, global health top priority for transatlantic cooperation, poll finds

ANKARA

Global health and climate change have been equally considered as the number one issues for the transatlantic cooperation to handle, a poll by the German Marshall Fund and the Bertelsmann Foundation revealed on Monday.

The Transatlantic Trends 2021 report showed seven of the 11 countries surveyed consider climate change and global health their top priorities, 37% and 36%, respectively.

The top two priorities were followed closely by trade and the fight against terrorism.

Germany and Sweden prioritized climate change over global health. The UK, Germany (both %37), and Canada (%35) saw trade as particularly important, while nearly half of correspondents in France (46%) prioritized the fight against terrorism.

Global health ranked highest in Italy (49%), Turkey (43%), and Spain (43%), with the lowest proportions seen in France (23%), Germany (29%), and Sweden (30%).

"Despite disparities among countries, overall the fight against terrorism (32%), trade (31%), and protection of human rights (29%) rank close behind the top issues for transatlantic cooperation," it said.

A third of Turks and Britons also said fighting terrorism is among their top three priorities (33%).

Older more likely to prioritize terrorism

When looked at the different age groups, the survey indicated that older respondents are much more likely to prioritize terrorism on the transatlantic agenda than younger ones.

"In the US, while 40% of respondents over 55 see combating terrorism as one of the top three priorities, only 17% of 18-24-year-olds do," the report said.

The trend is alike in France (59% vs. 31%), Sweden (46% vs. 28%), and Italy (37% vs. 15%).

Political lines in Western European countries also affected the way people determine the most important issues for transatlantic cooperation.

"The respondents aligned with far-right parties are more likely to worry about migration and terrorism and supporters of pro-business parties are more likely to prioritize trade," the report indicated.

In the US, a partisan divide is apparent, the survey said, adding "a much greater proportion of Democrats chose climate change (36%) and protection of human rights (33%) than Republicans (17% and 20% respectively)."

Carried out online between March 29 and April 13, the survey sampled 1,000 participants in each of the 11 countries – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the UK, and the US.

The survey had been conducted in cooperation with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Turkey.

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