Hedge fund legend George Soros has a plan to keep the European Union together.
In the wake of the UK’s vote to leave the EU, which Soros was vocally against, the investor laid out a plan for the organisation to stitch itself back together in the wake of the referendum.
“The post-referendum turmoil has highlighted for people in Britain just what they stand to lose by leaving the EU,” wrote in an op-ed for Project Syndicate.
“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.”
Soros said that he sees “regrexit” among the people of the UK, who are now realising what they will be missing by leaving the EU. From the fall of major “Leave” politicians such as Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage to an online petition for the UK to hold a second referendum, Soros believes there is a new fervor in the UK to stay in the EU. (While there has been some anecdotal evidence of this regret, it is unclear if it is representative of the electorate as a whole.)
Soros thinks this sentiment can be capitalised on, and if the EU can address the concerns the UK populous has with the organisation while bringing the country back into the fold, it can provide a template for dealing with other disaffected nations.
“If disaffected voters in France, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Poland and everywhere else see the EU benefitting their lives, the EU will emerge stronger,” he wrote.
“If not, it will fall apart faster than leaders and citizens currently realise.”
Soros pointed to Italy as the next worrisome country that may leave the EU, but he wrote that before it becomes a problem there are four things the organisation can do to protect from future disruptions.
- The eurozone countries should link themselves more closely. “If the eurozone wants to be more closely integrated, as it should be, it needs to have its own treasury and budget, to serve as a fiscal authority alongside its monetary authority, the European Central Bank,” said Soros.
- The EU should use its credit. “Leaders would be acting irresponsibly if they failed to employ the EU’s borrowing capacity when its very existence is at stake,” he wrote.
- Strengthen its defence capabilities. “The EU’s greatest asset is Ukraine, whose citizens are willing to die in defence of their country,” wrote Soros. “But the EU and its member states are not providing the support that Ukraine deserves (the US is much more supportive).”
- Come up with a better plan to deal with the refugee crisis. “They are riddled with misconceptions and inconsistencies that render them ineffective,” wrote Soros, who also referred to his plan to deal with the crisis “They are woefully underfunded. And they use coercive measures that generate resistance.”
Follow those four steps, said Soros, and the EU may just make it yet.
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