What do middle powers think? The view from Saudi Arabia

, Berlin time (CET, UTC+1)

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  • Cinzia Bianco, Visiting Fellow, ECFR
  • Hesham al-Ghannam, Director General, Security Research Center, Naif Arab University for Security Sciences (NAUSS)

Chaired by

Pawel Zerka, Senior Policy Fellow, ECFR

Many people outside the West want Europe and the US in their lives for all they have to offer – but that does not translate into political alignment. Instead, they prefer to live in a world where they can trade with China, enjoy security cooperation with the US, and emulate the European way of life. A major new global public opinion poll across 21 countries commissioned by ECFR and Oxford University shows that we live in an à la carte world. If Europeans are to start playing the rules of an à la carte world – they need to first learn what middle powers think.

Join Pawel Zerka, ECFR’s lead data analyst, for a series that delves into public opinion from three middle powers – Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and Turkey – on issues ranging from global order, the war in Ukraine, and to China’s economic presence and US security. Each webinar lasts 30 minutes, with a quick-fire data-insights round, an analysis round with ECFR experts and regional voices, and a Q&A round with our audience.

The first instalment of the series will focus on data from Saudi Arabia where Pawel Zerka is joined by Cinzia Bianco, ECFR’s expert on Europe-Gulf relations, and Hesham al-Ghannam of the Naif Arab University for Security Sciences (NAUSS), to gain clarity on how Saudi Arabia pursues simultaneous relationships with global players and avoids putting all its eggs in US, Russian or Chinese baskets.