'The world will not stop': a statement from leading Europeans


The Brexit vote poses profound questions about the future of the European project, but the world will not stop while Europe works out its future.

The Brexit vote poses profound questions about the future of the European project. But the world will not stop while Europe works out its future; people will continue to want to come, enemies will continue to plot, civil wars will continue to kill.

Even as we fashion a response to the internal crisis of Europe, we must maintain Europe’s capacity to make an effective foreign policy and to protect Europe’s citizens. Ahead of today’s European Council, we call on European leaders to embrace some core principles moving forward:

  • Unity is the most essential source of Europe’s strength. In a time of heightened emotion, it is essential to avoid actions that sow division among member states. There are multiple institutional options for forging common European responses. But there can be no two classes of EU membership, where one group decides about the others. This will be the fastest way towards the unraveling of the EU.
  • Forging an effective partnership with Britain on foreign and security policy will always be a core interest of the other European states.
  • European foreign policy cannot be divorced from the needs and desires of the people of Europe.  Any initiative for forging cooperation among European states must take their concerns seriously. 


The following signatories endorse this statement in a personal capacity:

  • Joaquin Almunia, former Vice President of the European Commission
  • Kostas Bakoyannis, Governor of Central Greece
  • Juraj Bayer, CFO & Member of the Board, ZSE Energia
  • Erik Berglof, Director, Institute of Global Affairs, London School of Economics
  • Emma Bonino, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy; former European Commissioner
  • Stine Bosse, Chairman and Non-Executive Board Member; Adjunct Professor, Copenhagen Business School
  • Goran Buldioski, Director, Think Tank Fund (TTF); Director, Open Society Initiative For Europe (OSIFE)
  • Gunilla Carlsson, former Minister for International Development Cooperation, Sweden
  • Dita Charanzova, Member of the European Parliament 
  • Ian Clarkson, Chair, Brightfield Consulting 
  • Lucinda Creighton, former European Affairs Minister, Ireland
  • Daniel Daianu, Professor of Economics, National School of Political and Administrative Studies, Bucharest
  • Kemal Dervis, Vice-President and Director of Global Economy and Development, Brookings Institution
  • Mikolaj Dowgielewicz, Director General and Permanent Representative, European Investment Bank
  • Andrew Duff, Visiting Fellow, European Policy Centre
  • Karin Forseke, Co-Chair, Sisters Capital
  • Jaime Gama, former Foreign Minister of Portugal
  • Jonas Gahr Støre, Leader of the Labour party; former Foreign Minister, Norway
  • Carlos Gaspar, Portuguese Institute of International Relations
  • Teresa Gouveia, former Foreign Minister of Portugal 
  • Beatrice de Graaf, Professor of the History of International Relations and Global Governance, Utrecht University
  • Djema Grozdanova, Chair, Foreign Affairs Committee, National Assembly of Bulgaria
  • Elisabeth Guigou, President, Foreign Affairs Commitee, Assemblée Nationale
  • Antonio Guterres, former United Nations Commissioner for Refugees; former Prime Minister of Portugal 
  • Istvan Gyarmati, Ambassador, International Centre for Democratic Transition
  • Heidi Hautala, Member of the European Parliament; former Minister for International Development, Finland
  • Connie Hedegaard, former European Commissioner for Climate Action
  • Diego Hidalgo, Co-founder of Spanish newspaper El País; Founder of Club de Madrid, CITpax and Founder and Honorary President of FRIDE
  • Anna Ibrisagic, Senior Partner, ESL & Network; former Member of the European Parliament
  • Jaakko Iloniemi, former Ambassador
  • Diana Janse, Senior Foreign Policy Advisor, Moderate Party
  • Mary Kaldor, Professor, London School of Economics
  • Ivailo Kalfin, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Labour & Social Policy; former Foreign Minister
  • Claude Kandiyoti, CEO, Krest Real Estate Investments
  • Piia-Noora Kauppi, Managing Director, Federation of Finnish Financial Services
  • Roderich Kiesewetter, Member of the Bundestag
  • David Koranyi, Director, Eurasian Energy Future Initiative, Atlantic Council
  • Brigid Laffan, Director, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute
  • Pascal Lamy, Honorary President, Notre Europe; former Director-General of the WTO; former EU Commissioner
  • Mark Leonard, Director, European Council on Foreign Relations
  • Sonja Licht, President, Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence
  • Maria Livanos Cattaui, former Secretary-General of the International Chamber of Commerce
  • Miguel Maduro, Professor and Director, Global Governance Programme at the European University Institute; former Minister
  • Cristina Manzano, Editor-in-chief, Esglobal 
  • Joseph Mifsud, Director, London Academy of Diplomacy; Professor, University of Stirling 
  • Hedvig Morvai, Executive Director, European Fund for the Balkans
  • Alessia Mosca, Member of the European Parliament 
  • Alina Mungiu-Pippidi, Professor of Democracy Studies, Hertie School of Governance
  • Dietmar Nietan, Member of the Bundestag
  • Kalypso Nicolaidis, Professor of International Relations, University of Oxford
  • Christine Ockrent, Commentator and writer; Presenter of 'Affaires Internationales', France Culture Radio
  • Andrzej Olechowski, former Foreign Minister
  • Dick Oosting, CEO, European Council on Foreign Relations
  • Andres Ortega, Author & journalist; former Director of Policy Planning, Office of the Spanish Prime Minister
  • Marc Otte, Director General, Egmont Institute; former EU Special Representative to the Middle East Peace Process
  • Cem Özdemir, Member of the Bundestag
  • Zaneta Ozolina, Professor, University of Latvia;
  • Katarzyna Pelczynska-Nalecz, Ambassador of Poland to the Russian Federation
  • Ruprecht Polenz, former Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Bundestag
  • Charles Powell, Director, Real Instituto Elcano
  • Andrew Puddephatt, Director, Global Partners & Associated Ltd.
  • Norbert Roettgen, Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Bundestag
  • Albert Rohan, former Ambassador 
  • Jan Royall, Member of the House of Lords
  • Adam Daniel Rotfeld, former Foreign Minister of Poland
  • Nicolò Russo Perez, International Affairs Programme, Compagnia di San Paolo
  • Daniel Sachs, CEO, Proventus 
  • Wolfgang Schuessel, former Federal Chancellor of Austria
  • Narcis Serra, President, IBEI
  • Javier Solana, former EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy & Secretary-General of the Council of the EU; former Secretary General of NATO 
  • George Soros, Founder and Chairman, Open Society Foundations
  • Andris Strazds, Advisor, Bank of Latvia
  • Ion Sturza, Founder & Chairman, Fribourg Capital
  • Hannes Swoboda, former President of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, European Parliament
  • Reka Szemerkenyi, Ambassador of Hungary to the United States
  • Anna Terron Cusi, President, InStrategies 
  • Luisa Todini, President, Poste Italiane
  • Erkki Tuomioja, former Foreign Minister of Finland
  • Constantijn van Oranje, Chairman, Start-up Fest Europe; Director for Digital Diplomacy and Macro Strategy, Macro Advisory Partners
  • Jordi Vaquer, Director, Open Society Initiative for Europe
  • Andre Wilkens, Author
  • Stelios Zavvos, Founder and CEO of Zeus Capital Management, Chairman of the Board of Solidarity Now organization
  • Samuel Zbogar, EU Representative to Kosovo; former Foreign Minister

The European Council on Foreign Relations does not take collective positions. This commentary, like all publications of the European Council on Foreign Relations, represents only the views of its authors.

Read more on: European Power, European Strategy, Cohesion & Governance

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