15 Feb Opinions: How the french see the germans?
The last IFOP (institut français d’opinion publique) survey for the Jean-Jaurès Foundation and the Friedrich-Ebert Foundation shows that even if the vast majority of French people, 77%, have a « good image » of Germany, the German view on the Hexagone appears to be way more benevolent, indeed, 86% of inhabitants have a positive image of French people.
Furthermore, the institute registered a decrease in the French opinion regarding Germany, especially since December 2018 (-7 points) and January 2012 (-5 points). Although in 2012 one in 5 French people had a « very good image » of Germany, we only count 8% in 2020.
Another survey led by the IFOP for the Jean-Jaurès Foundation and Bpifrance, questioning a panel of 395 SMEs and mid-cap companies leaders shows that they have a very good image of Germany : nearly all of the leaders interrogated have a good image of Germany (99%) against 77% for the public opinion. Out of the 99% of « good image » are 35% « very good image ».
French leaders consider French-german relations to be very important, 97% of the interrogated leaders estimate the relationship vital for the future of the European Union.
Nevertheless, 86% consider that the relations are globally satisfying but there is room for improvement since only 20% of the panel rate it « totally satisfying » and a quarter of the panel consider the French-German relation unbalanced.
Half of the panel of companies consider to have German competitors.
They believe themselves to be comparable to their German competitors in terms of their price/performance ratio, their time-frame for completion respect, their digital transformation level and their product/service innovation.
However, the labour costs are judged to be a competitive disadvantage, even if the competitively France has improved in the domain since 2009 compared to Germany. 53% of SMEs and mid-cap companies answering the survey see themselves as disadvantaged against 18% advantaged.
French companies also consider themselves as less flexible and less capable of adapting to the market than their German competitors: 20% see themselves as better, 48% as comparable, 32% as worse on this criteria.
Thus, SMEs and mid-cap companies leaders appear to have a good image of Germany and seem to think that French-German relations are necessary, the results show a real potential to intensify the relations between both countries:
- 4 out of 10 of the interrogated French companies share commercial relations or investments with German companies.
- Not even 1 in 3 French companies openly assessed their will for an approximation with German companies, commercially or through investments.
- Almost 1 in 2 revealed their strong interest for the establishment of common initiatives through the creation of exchange clubs or partnerships in the innovation domain.
These common initiatives represent the first step for French companies to develop themselves in Germany.