(*This opinion / analytical article was written by Ivan Dikov for The European Views website.)
Or why Britain is a lot more like the USA, Russia, China, Turkey, or Iran than it is like Germany, France, Italy, Spain, or Poland.
Now that Brexit is finally a fait accompli, at least for those of us on the continental side of the English Channel, the main perception-level consequence of Brexit seems to be feeling a little weird when looking at the map of the European Union.
It is as though there is just a new “EU neighbor” on the Island of Britain which has appeared as if out of nowhere.
The reason Brexit hasn’t felt as apocalyptic a month after Brexit Day – as it once had seemed – is very much due to the long “Brexit in the making, Brexit in the waiting” period – from the Brexit referendum in June 2016 to the Brexit ceremonies on January 31, 2020.
With so much uncertainty-ridden delay, eventually everyone got so bored with Brexit that the European public just stopped caring about it, and even the arch-Brexiteers went down with bad cases of Brexit fatigue.
So for the time being the most tangible Brexit perception is the EU map, and some numerical expressions: namely, that the EU is back to being the EU27 – which is what it was in numerical terms back in 2012, before Croatia joined the Union to give birth to the “EU28”.
But one incredibly important aspect of Brexit is entirely overlooked:
Namely, that with Britain now gone, the European Union is finally a “Union of humility”.
And, for the most part, that is a great thing both for the EU itself, and for the rest of the world.
That is, with the UK out of the picture, the EU now consists entirely of nations which have been humbled by tragic events in their history – most often begotten by their own complacency, cheek, and misguided feelings of supremacy over others.
So much so that these nations seem to have renounced those pathologies altogether – which is how the only post-modern space in today’s world has become possible.
The nations of the post-Brexit EU27 have achieved their humility in the hardest way possible: they have gotten to know and experience first-hand utter defeats and humiliation, occupations by outside powers, destruction, utter collapses, “national catastrophes” (to use some Bulgarian political slang), unconditional surrenders and downfalls.
Many of these European nations have experienced such events more than once. And while the tragedies these events entailed are horrible in themselves, these experiences have also proven incredibly positive because all of these countries that are now making up the European Union, seem to have learned their lessons:
They have an aversion to the notion of empire.
They have become more peace-loving than any other region on this planet.
They eschew any idea of aggressive national grandeur.
They have acquired previously unimaginable levels of humility in international politics and world affairs.
They have learned that delusions about imperial pride, and especially about restoring empires that once were could only lead to greater and greater ruin.
Read the rest of this article on The European Views website here
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