Poles are the biggest fans of the EU and Britons the least supportive, according to a poll of 10 EU members.
The Washington Pew Research Center commissioned the poll, which was done by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, the Polish Press Agency (PAP) reported.
Sizable majorities in most of the 10 countries in the survey like the EU.
Eighty-three percent of Poles support it. The residents of two other new EU members also are enthusiastic backers ? 81 percent of Bulgarians and 70 percent of Slovakians. Support is also high in Spain, 80 percent, and Italy, 78 percent.
Only in Great Britain and the Czech Republic was support marginal ? though still in the majority. Fifty-two percent of Britons support the EU. In the Czech Republic 54 percent expressed a favorable opinion of it. Other countries? support included Sweden 59 percent; France 62 percent; and Germany 68 percent.
The poll was part of a series of worldwide public-opinion surveys known as the ?Pew Global Attitudes Project.?
Those who were interviewed assessed not only their own lives but their views about the state of the world and other important issues. The surveys were based on face-to-face and telephone interviews.
In a broader poll, people around the world were asked their opinions of the U.S. and American foreign policy, opinions about Russia and opinions about China?s growing economic and military power. This poll shows that the image of the U.S. has declined in most of the world. Since 2002 favorable ratings of America are lower in 26 of the 33 countries for which trends are available.
Public opinion about the U.S. is far more negative today in Western Europe and Canada than at the beginning of the decade. America continues to be very unpopular in the Middle East. More than three of four Palestinians, Turks, Egyptians and Jordanians express unfavorable opinions of the country. America?s image also has suffered in Kuwait, the country the U.S. liberated during the first Iraq War in the early 1990s.
One country in the region where attitudes toward the U.S. have improved is Lebanon. That may be because Washington put international pressure on Syria to withdraw its forces from Lebanon.
In Eastern Europe, America?s image also has slipped.
Five years ago, strong majorities in Poland, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia gave the U.S. favorable marks. But views have grown more negative in those four countries, all of which joined the EU in the last five years. Favorable views of the U.S. also are down in Russia and Ukraine. Currently, 61 percent of Poles have a positive view of the U.S.
Residents of many of the NATO countries with a significant number of troops in Afghanistan are divided over whether U.S. and NATO forces should be brought home or stay until the country is stabilized. In the U.S. for instance, 50 percent favor keeping U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, while 42 percent say they should be withdrawn as soon as possible. However only 24 percent of Poles wanted to keep military troops in Afghanistan until the situation has stabilized and 63 percent think the U.S. and NATO should remove their troops.
Opinion about Russia varies widely throughout the world. Many Europeans are concerned that their countries are becoming too dependent on Russia for their energy needs. Majorities in most Western and Eastern European nations say they are very concerned or fairly concerned that they rely too much on Russian energy resources. Worries are particularly strong in Poland — 75 percent very concerned or fairly concerned, Italy, 71 percent, and Great Britain, 66 percent.
Anxieties also run high ? 63 percent — in Ukraine, whose natural gas supplies from Russia were temporarily shut off during a price dispute with the Russian state-owned gas giant Gazprom.
In most countries, concern about dependence on Russian energy is correlated with negative views of Russia over-all. But in Ukraine and Bulgaria, positive opinions of Russia surpass negative sentiments by wide margins. The balance of opinion is decidedly negative in Poland, however. Worries are particularly strong in Poland (75 percent are fairly concerned and 20 percent are not).
Opinion about China?s growing economic power is negative in much of Western Europe, where nearly two-thirds of Italians and French believe this trend is bad for their country. In Italy concern about China?s economic strength is at 61 percent, in the Czech Republic 58 percent and in Germany 54 percent and in France 51 percent.
Opinion is split in many European countries. A plurality of Britons ? 49 percent ? and Bulgarians ? 44 percent —- view China?s economic strength favorably.