Romania bucks global trend by falling for international institutions
Romania is one of the strongest pro-US, pro-NATO and pro-EU nations in the west, according to a report by the German Marshall Fund of the USA, with local assistance from the Romanian Academic Society.
The country has enormous faith in international institutions, at a time when many of these global clubs are undergoing identity crises.
Among the EU and EU candidate countries canvassed, Romania also has among the warmest attitudes to USA, China, Iran and Israel
As well as one of the biggest promoters of Turkey's accession to the EU, Romania is also an advocate of greater ties across the Atlantic. 51 per cent of Romanians think partnership in security and diplomatic affairs should be closer between the EU and USA – as opposed to 24 per cent of Bulgarians and 28 per cent of the EU nine (Germany, France, UK, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain).
Romania has least suspicion of foreign countries and institutions. 47 per cent of Romanians said it was desirable for the USA to exert strong leadership in world affairs, as opposed to 21 per cent of Bulgarians and 37 per cent of the EU nations canvassed.
But 66 per cent of Romanians believe the EU should do the same exert strong leadership, as opposed to 56 per cent of Bulgarians.
Both Romania and Bulgaria are in favour of EU enlargement and NATO, indicating that their entry into these institutions has met with widespread public support.
President Bush has large support in Romania, but not a majority.
Twice as many Romanians, as opposed to Bulgarians and existing EU members, approve of Bush's handling of foreign policy. However a larger number of Romanians still disapprove of the President's record.
“Along with the Dutch, the Romanians are the strongest promoters of US leadership among the European countries canvassed,” said Sorin Ionita, executive director Romanian Academic Society.
But when it comes to issues of international diplomacy, Romania has faith in the United Nations. On who should best handle the issue of Iran's nuclear weapons, Romanians believe the UN is best placed (36 per cent) as opposed to the EU (ten per cent) and the US (eight per cent). This is not dissimilar to the EU nine and Bulgaria.
Romania is also the most vocal of EU nations in opposing Government restrictions on liberty to combat terrorism, such as allowing authorities to tap phone calls, monitor their Internet pages and banking transactions and put CCTV in public places.
“From these results we see that eastern Europe is not a homogenous group,” Ionita adds. “From the survey it seems the views of Poland and Romania are quite similar, as are Slovakia and Bulgaria.”
How warm do you feel towards these countries?
From one to 100
Nine EU states: 51
Nine EU states: 47
Nine EU states: 67
Nine EU states: 43
Nine EU states: 46
Romania: 42 (highest after Turkey)
Nine EU states: 28