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Research Insight

The World According to Germany

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Brexit has been rejected, Hillary Clinton is U.S. president, and no one doubts that the European Union is crucial for the future of Europe. If the most important political decisions of recent times had fallen on the Germans, today’s world would look significantly different, according to the findings of a special Edelman Trust Barometer survey conducted in Germany.

  • Brexit or Bremain? If the Germans had voted, the United Kingdom would be “in” with a rich two-thirds majority. And although the majority of Germans do not fear any negative consequences for themselves from Britain’s exit from the EU, they are convinced that the British have done nothing but damage themselves, particularly their economy (61 percent) and their influence on the world stage (54 percent).
  • It would have been Hilary Clinton who arrived in Hamburg to represent the U.S. at the G20 summit. Only a mere 9 percent of Germans would have lent their vote to Trump in the U.S. presidential election, versus 65 percent to Clinton. Bad for the U.S., bad for Germany, bad for the world, according to one of the less flattering verdicts on President Trump.
  • The Germans have a surprisingly optimistic view of France under Macron. They hope that his election victory will have a positive effect on both German-French political and economic cooperation (60 percent) and on the political stability of the continent (59 percent).
  • The Germans’ current view of the EU is also surprising: no sign of fundamental rejection. Almost two-thirds are convinced that the European Union is essential for political and economic stability in Europe. Nevertheless, 70 percent believe that the community needs radical reform if it is to survive.

The position of the Germans on current developments in the international community shows that people here feel deeply insecure and long for stability. As communication experts, our recommendation is clear: Politicians and companies must urgently rebuild trust. And they must make it clear that they are honoring their social responsibilities.

Susanne Marell is CEO, Edelman.ergo.

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