Barenboim says Europe must unite after Brexit

Celebrated pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim has blogged about Brexit, and while he said it is a ‘sad decision’ he added that Europe must proceed in a positive way. Barenboim has long been a proponent of international unity, and holds citizenship in Argentina, Israel, Palestine and Spain.

Here is his blog in full:

The vote in favour of Brexit is, in my view, a very sad decision for Great Britain and Europe. It is, however, senseless to bathe in pessimism and desperation as Brexit is now an unchangeable historical fact.

The best thing to do now is to analyse both the extremist and populist motivations behind the vote to leave, and the serious issues requiring improvement.

The construction of the EU is far from ideal. Europe consists of so many different peoples, cultures, and languages that the EU requires a much more substantial unifying idea than simply joint trade and a single currency.

There are now two possible reactions:

  • To lament Brexit and watch extremist movements in other countries such as France and the Netherlands seeking to follow the example of Great Britain.
  • Or, to think about necessary improvements for the EU and to work together towards a true spirit of unity and collaboration, especially in finding a global solution for the refugee crisis and not an exclusively European one.

Nationalism is the opposite of true patriotism, and the further fostering of nationalist sentiment would be the worst case scenario for us all. Instead, we need a unifying, European patriotism. In the spirit of Kennedy’s words, we need to ask not what Europe can do for us, but we can do to fortify, solidify and unify Europe.

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