Kosovo and Albania are the countries with the highest approval ratings given to the US leadership by any European, according to a Gallup survey.
In 2019, Gallup asked people worldwide: “Do you approve or disapprove of the job performance of the United States?”
Its “Rating World Leaders: 2020 Report” found that Kosovo leads the region, but also the world for the second year, in approval of US leadership at 82 percent (11% disapprove, 7% don’t know).
Overall, the image of US leadership has received historically low assessments from some of its closest historic allies for the third year in a row but not from Kosovar.
It should be noted that the survey covered 2019, when the Trump administration had not begun it’s heavy-handed pressure on the former Kosovo government regarding the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue. Hence, effects of the demise of the Kurti government as a result of the US pressure are not included in this survey.
The approval rating in Serbia was comparatively very low: 19 percent of the population approved the US leadership (61% disapproved, 19% don’t know).
Albania’s approval for the US leadership stands at 67 percent, Europe’s second highest and world’s fifth highest rate (Kosovo 82%, Guinea 69%, Togo 69%, Chad 68%, Albania 67%).
Median approval ratings in Europe for US leadership dropped by 19 points between President Obama’s last year in office and Trump’s first year. The situation hasn’t changed much since. The 24 percent median approval rating is unchanged from 2018.
However, the median 61 percent who disapproved of US leadership in 2019 is a new high.
The image of US leadership in Europe was worst in Iceland, with just 9 percent of the population approving it.
Russians, who have typically been the least likely in the region (and the world) to approve of US leadership, were not far behind at 11 percent — which was unchanged from the previous year.
The report notes that “approval of US leadership rose noticeably in some of the world’s least democratic societies. And, the leadership of China and Russia remained essentially as unpopular as the US.”