After the Brexit: Consequences for Europe

"With the Brexit, the taboo of the irreversibility of the process of building the European Union has been broken for the first time", Carme Colomina and Andrés Ortega Klein.

The Catalonia Europa Foundation and the Nollegiu bookstore organized, last night, a new edition of the Club Europa, an open debate space with experts with the intention of bringing closer and deepening the current European issues. In this case, the event "After the Brexit, consequences for Europe", analyzed with perspective, two weeks after the vote in the United Kingdom, the options that the new scenario offers for the EU. The event was attended by the MEP Ernest Maragall, the senior researcher associated with the Real Instituto Elcano, Andrés Ortega Klein, and the journalist and researcher associated with CIDOB, Carme Colomina.

Both Ortega, who opened the debate, and Colomina wanted to emphasize that with the British "yes" to leave the European Union, the process of European construction becomes reversible for the first time. "The taboo has been broken: if the EU limits itself to confront the Brexit limiting the damage and does not attack the root of its problems, the European crisis will go further and there will be contagion of referendum to other countries," said Colomina. These problems happen, according to the journalist of the newspaper ARA, for the loss of the link between the European project and the citizen, caused in large part by its lack of democratic weight. "There is more political integration, but it will be impossible without a democratic deepening." The debate has long been that it is not "more Europe", but better, although for now there does not seem to be a common strategy in this area. " His opinion was seconded by both Ortega, who appealed to a European republic that is not built from the elites but from citizens, as Maragall, who, from his privileged view from Brussels, riveted the nail. "Europe before did not do politics, distributed funds, since the crisis has become the messenger of fear, we have to find the point of integration that gives us tools, especially in economic matters, to solve the problems of people ", he claimed, before making a call to optimism:" The Brexit can be a contagion, but I want to think that it can also be a vaccine. "

Regarding the process of European integration, Ortega, a former analyst of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Moncloa, stressed that there is some respect among community leaders towards the negotiation with the United Kingdom. Not so much because of the divorce with London, but also that the future model of the Union will be put on the table in the negotiation. And it is in this scenario where there can be clashes between the visions of each country on the European construction project, which are already being sold staging the attitude towards the negotiation tempos. Without going any further, France and Germany have shown public divergences on the issue, a new chapter in the series of disagreements between the two powers - and their two leaders, François Hollande and Angela Merkel on the European project, and that may affect to the new balance of power within the union.

At this point, the speakers presented conflicting opinions. While Ortega said that the march of the United Kingdom, natural counterweight in the frank dichotomy, will give even more weight in Berlin, Colomina and Maragall doubt that the new situation will exacerbate German power. The associate researcher of the CIDOB highlighted, in this sense, that Merkel's leadership capacity has been eroded, and that the rest of European countries no longer dance to the rhythm of the German diktat as it happened during the debt or euro crisis. The weakness of the German Chancellor, continued Colomina, has been appreciated with the refugee crisis. Maragall, meanwhile, said that even from Germany are aware that monopolize more power, become even more the carrier of bad news, would be counterproductive to the interests of the country Teuton.

The effects of Brexit can also be felt in the role of the EU in the world, as stressed Ortega, senior researcher at the Real Instituto Elcano. Not only because of the demographic weight loss, but so that the United Kingdom is one of the two EU military powers together with France, and one of its great diplomatic powers. On the contrary, the British goodbye could accelerate the Europe of Defense, which London "has been holding back for a decade," he said, and have an effect on the negotiation of the TTIP.

However, Ortega wanted to emphasize that the Brexit is not only a process that will be extended because the British will delay in activating the article 50, but it is even reversible. "The conservatives must choose a new leader in the autumn and it is possible that there will be new elections, unlike the EU, they are interested in delaying the negotiations with Brussels, which will be very hard, to maintain territorial integrity. And after all this process the British people will have to ratify again the exit of the Union in the terms that are reached to agree", he said.


Brexit  Europe