Doubt over survival of ‘liberal West’ as poll shows many believe EU will not exist in 20 years, Oxford University report says
A large number of people in countries around the world have doubts around the survival of the "liberal West”, while many nations no longer feeling they have to be aligned to just one major power or bloc, a report has found.
The study, a collaboration from ECFR and Oxford University’s Europe in a Changing World, reveals countries no longer want to be exclusively tied to a US or Chinese-led group, pointing to a fragmentation of established power blocs. However, significant numbers in many of the nations who were polled say they would rather be closer on security co-operation to the US than to China.
The poll was conducted this autumn across 21 countries, including the US, China, India, Turkey and Russia, as well as a set of European countries. Those in Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, South Africa, Brazil and South Korea were also polled.
Many people said they believe the EU will no longer exist in 20 years time, a majority view in China, Russia and Saudi Arabia. Even in Europe, one out of three respondents regard an EU collapse as a likely scenario.
Furthermore, many people living in countries outside Europe believe Russia will win the war with Ukraine. Earlier this month, the European Commission said EU leaders should allow formal talks on Ukraine and Moldova’s accession to the bloc.
Professor Timothy Garton Ash, co-author of the report, said: “Further enlargement of the European bloc, eastwards, after helping Ukraine to victory, would make the EU a more powerful and credible global player in a world of increasingly fierce geopolitical and geo-economic competition.”
However, the report found the majority of people from Brazil, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea and Turkey would choose to live in the EU or the US if they were to move to a new country. In contrast, on average only 5 per cent of citizens from non-Western countries would choose to live in China.
Co-author Ivan Krastev said: “The world is changing – and not in Europe’s favour. Looking at the confident way that middle powers like Turkey, India, Brazil, South Africa, and Saudi Arabia are now conducting themselves on the world stage, the EU should take note and seek to broaden the scope of its alliances.”
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