After fifty years of world war, cold war and communism, Europeans are in the process of resuming the twentieth century.
The end of communism in the East and the immanent economic integration in the West have unleashed forces of nationalism and ethnicity contained for the last 45 years by the exigencies of the Cold War. From the Atlantic to the Urals the publics of Europe are once again in conflict over the issues and questions that dictated the course of European history in the past.
The Times Mirror Survey suggests that contradictory forces are pulling Europe in opposite directions. One side is the Europe of the past, filled with ethnic hatreds, animosities and possible conflict. On the other is the new Europe of cooperation and enlightened tolerance. As the twentieth century comes to a close the two Europe’s exist side by side, present in every society examined, and struggling to determine which will dominate the future.
Our in depth survey of 13,000 European in nine nations and the Republics of Russia, the Ukraine, and Lithuania finds many reasons to be pessimistic about future developments. Eastern Europeans and citizens of the former Soviet Union are reconsidering their governance, their economy, and large parts of their social structure. These fundamental questions are before publics that are deeply skeptical of political leadership, profoundly depressed by economic conditions, and reawakening to nationalist impulses and ethic grievances. In Western Europe, despite apparent political tranquility, questions about race, the protection of borders, and the reemergence of a dominant Germany take on new significance as the economic integration of Europe speeds ahead.