George Soros writes: The post-referendum turmoil has highlighted for people in Britain just what they stand to lose by leaving the EU. If this sentiment spreads to the rest of Europe, what seemed like the inevitable disintegration of the EU could be instead creating positive momentum for a stronger and better Europe.
The process could start in Britain. The popular vote can’t be reversed but a signature collecting campaign could transform the political landscape by revealing a newfound enthusiasm for EU membership. This approach could then be replicated in the rest of the European Union, creating a movement to save the EU by profoundly restructuring it. I am convinced that as the consequences of Brexit unfold in the months ahead, more and more people will be eager to join this movement.
What the EU must not do is penalize British voters while ignoring their legitimate concerns about the deficiencies of the Union. European leaders should recognize their own mistakes and acknowledge the democratic deficit in the current institutional arrangements. Rather than treating Brexit as the negotiation of a divorce, they should seize the opportunity to reinvent the EU – making it the kind of club that the UK and others at risk of exit want to join.
If disaffected voters in France, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Poland and everywhere else see the EU benefitting their lives, the EU will emerge stronger. If not, it will fall apart faster than leaders and citizens currently realize. [Continue reading…]