Security Radar is the second edition of an FES survey first conducted in 2019. It includes fourteen states from across the OSCE region: Armenia, Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Norway, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Turkey, United Kingdom, Ukraine, and United States (countries in italics were included in Security Radar 2019).
Security Radar 2022 combines a representative public opinion poll with expert group discussions conducted in each participating country. Based on public perceptions and expert opinions the concluding analysis reflects on major obstacles to achieving peace in Europe and distills political recommendations on how to overcome them.
The dire state of European security urgently calls for a serious debate across ideological divisions, leading to a political process towards renewing European security. Security Radar 2022 reveals three key points that serve as guidelines in pursuit of cooperative security in Europe:
Overwhelming majorities of people in the 14 polled countries want peace and cooperation to be a political priority. Political decision-makers need to provide ideas and initiatives for a more stable international framework. The situation in Europe is grave and complex, but that should not entail inaction, complacency or fatalism. There are major stumbling blocks in the way of progress and it would seem to be a Herculean task to overcome them, but the poll makes clear that citizens do understand the various difficulties and dilemmas.
Pragmatism is the way forward to break the current deadlock. A pragmatic approach could build on a diverse set of instruments, avoiding TINA (there is no alternative) thinking. Our poll shows that the public does not perceive a contradiction between interest-based and value-based foreign policy. Concerning the instruments of choice, military, economic and diplomatic means are accepted, with a clear preference for diplomacy over the use of force or sanctions. According to the survey, the respondents do not perceive ideology or values as an impediment to dialogue and negotiation. A broad majority are in favour of cooperating with other countries, even if they do not share the same values. This public pragmatism gives governments room and impetus to shape bold policies aimed at cooperative security.
A renewed debate on European security needs to take place on the basis of the existing frameworks. The Security Radar 2022 offers several indications of public support for serious negotiations aimed at renewing European security through multilateral institutions. Respondents are willing to cooperate, realising a sense of belonging to Europe and the mutual dependence of their respective countries. Multilateral institutions are viewed positively and still broadly garner high levels of trust, especially the United Nations and the OSCE. The challenges identified also require a cooperative approach and could thus serve as islands of cooperation. Starting from these islands, a sense of successful and effective cooperation in Europe can be revived.
The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) is a non-profit German foundation funded by the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, and headquartered in Bonn and Berlin. It was founded in 1925 and is named after Germany's first democratically elected President, Friedrich Ebert. FES is committed to the advancement of both socio-political and economic development in the spirit of social democracy, through civic education, research, and international cooperation. Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung is the oldest political foundation in Germany.