Thus, about a third of Bulgarian citizens (32%) believe that the creation of NATO headquarters significantly reduces the country's security. 21% of Germans adhere to the same opinion regarding their country.
The highest percentage of those who voted for the creation of command posts was recorded in Poland (49%) and Hungary (38%).
To those who most likely support the plans of the alliance in Europe, the researchers attributed the US citizens. 42% of Americans believe that NATO headquarters "will contribute to the growth of security" in European countries.
There are also many who believe that the idea of NATO will not change anything at all and will not affect the situation in the region. These responses were received from 28% of respondents.
“The survey was conducted by Populus research company from 25 September to 15 October 2015 of the year. 8000 respondents took part in the survey, in 1000 in each country - Great Britain, the USA, Germany, France, Bulgaria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Poland. The sample represents the population by sex, age, geography. The confidence interval for data in the whole country is +/- 3,1% with a confidence level of 95%, ”the publication notes.
The deputy director of the RISI Tavrichesky Center, military expert Sergey Ermakov believes that the range of opinion of Europeans is connected with several factors.
“The survey results show: Europe is not homogeneous. That is, in different countries there are absolutely opposite opinions about whether NATO stabilizes the situation, whether the security of European countries strengthens. And this is primarily due to history, with the geographic location of specific countries, that is, to what extent are they realistic in assessing one or another degree of threat to their security, ”he said in an interview with Sputnik.
For example, the inhabitants of Bulgaria, in his opinion, are just one of those who understand that the strengthening of the structures of NATO on their territory only worsens the security of the country.
“If we talk about Bulgaria, then this country, according to NATO classification, is on the southern flank and is directly confronted with real threats. Residents of this country understand that the presence and strengthening of the military infrastructure of NATO on the territory of Bulgaria, most likely, will not only contribute to strengthening the security of the country, but will make it even more attractive, for example, to terrorists. Plus make it a target in the event of any hostilities. It is these considerations that underlie the opinion expressed by the Bulgarians, ”the expert believes.
As for Germany, the citizens of this country gradually come to understand that the presence of NATO is not always a guarantee of security.
“For many years, the largest military contingent of the United States has been stationed in Germany outside their national territory. The Germans have become accustomed to living next door to the US military. But they understand that this presence actually creates an additional headache for their country. And this presence, this powerful base on their territory in no way protects them directly from any threats, ”said Yermakov.