By Theodota Nantsou*
The forecasts about the repercussions of Britain’s Brexit vote on economy, society and environment are gloomy. As the world waits to see what happens next, it is now important for the EU to analyse and understand what went wrong and how this can be fixed.
Europe was evidently not prepared for this dramatic turn of events. The British majority’s vote for exit from the EU came as an unexpected shock. Indeed, contrary to the assertions of the pro-Brexit campaign, the UK did not really depend on the European Union for a large share of its policies. So why would British citizens really bother to vote for an exit?
Following a massively catastrophic first half of the 20th century, the dream of a tranquil and prosperous Europe seemed to come to fruition in the early 1970s, when the key economic colossi had all signed the agreement to become an economic community of states pursuing free movement of people, capital, goods and services. As the community further expanded and included countries of smaller economic clout and different historic backgrounds, the challenge of better integration resulted in a robust acquis of common environmental and resource efficiency policies and laws and progressive international advocacy for strong agreements on climate change, thus rightly elevating the European Union to the pedestal of a global green champion.