As France commemorates the storming of the Bastille today — a symbol of the uprising of the modern French nation — the median percentage of people saying the French government respects the freedoms of its people in a 24-nation Pew Research survey is 63%, essentially the same as the rating given the U.S. government (65%). Majorities in 16 nations say the government of France respects the freedoms of its people, and the percentage of people saying France does not respect these freedoms tends to be lower than is the case for the U.S. Overwhelmingly, fellow Europeans believe the French government treats its people well. More than three-quarters of those surveyed in Germany (86%), Poland (82%), Spain (79%) and Great Britain (78%) believe the government in Paris respects the rights of its citizens, as do two-thirds in Russia. The French themselves are actually more likely than any other European public to say these rights are not respected in their country — still, only 22% feel this way. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.