By Maja Zivanovic
While approval of the US leadership and of President Donald Trump varies in the countries of the Balkan region, a poll by Gallup showed that support is higher in Kosovo than anywhere else in Europe.
The poll published on Thursday showed that 75 per cent of people in Kosovo support the performance of the leadership of the United States. Neighbouring Albania comes second, with 72 per cent support, the report said.
“The US garnered majority approval in just three countries or areas in Europe in 2017 — Kosovo, which leads the region and the world in approval of US leadership, Albania, which ranks second worldwide, and Poland,” the report said.
“It is not unusual to see Kosovars and Albanians at the top of the approval list; these two populations typically give US leadership high ratings,” it noted.
However, the report showed that even in these two countries support for the US had dropped compared to the previous year.
Meanwhile, support for Trump was far lower elsewhere. In Macedonia, 45 per cent supported the current US leadership, while 34 per cent disapproved, though the rate in Macedonia was higher than it had been.
“US approval ratings increased substantially — 10 points or more — in two countries, Belarus and Macedonia,” the report said.
“In Macedonia, which recently renewed its US-backed efforts to join NATO and the European Union, approval rose from 30 per cent to 45 per cent. Its approval of the EU’s leadership rose just as much during the same time frame, from 41 per cent to 54 per cent,” the poll showed.
Gallup says its World Leaders 2018 Rating provides a snapshot of how the world views the leadership of the US. The survey was conducted in 134 countries and areas.
Generally, approval of the US leadership under President Trump has hit a historic low.
“Only 30 per cent of the world, on average, approves of the job performance of the US’s leadership, down from 48 per cent in 2016. In fact, more people now disapprove of US leadership than approve.”
In Romania, 41 per cent registered approval, and only 28 per cent in Bosnia, the same is in Bulgaria.
“Poland, Slovakia and Montenegro were the only European NATO members in which ratings of US leadership moved in a positive direction,” the report said and pointed out on 25 per cent approval in Montenegro – seven points more than in 2016.
In Croatia, support for Trump scored only 24 per cent, which was a 20-point drop compared to year before.
Serbia is on the very bottom of the support level in Europe, with only 16 per cent support.