The Frenchman Jean Monnet, one of the founding fathers of today’s Europe, wrote that the process of European unity will “be accomplished in crises.” The Brexit decision is a catastrophe for all Europeans. It is coming at a high price in political, social and economic terms.
But it is also a crisis that can make Europe significantly stronger – if politicians, especially in Germany, recognize and use it as such. What is positive is that this crisis is an “announced crisis.” It provides politics with the chance to act actively and preventively. This requires Europe to have a post-Brexit plan. Four elements are particularly important.
First, panic must be prevented on the financial markets. Central banks, above all the European Central Bank, so denigrated in Germany, have already promised to do their part to assure stability. Politics now must follow suit and voice binding commitments to do everything necessary to support the economy. It must not repeat the mistake of waiting until the child has fallen into the well.