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When the United Kingdom voted in favor of Brexit almost three years ago, some said it might mark the beginning of the end of the European Union. Some analysts warned that the UK would be the first in a series of dominoes and fell for a possible "Frexit", "Nexit" and "Swexit".
But instead of establishing itself as the harbinger of the EU's demise, the UK has been in political chaos and has become a cautionary point for other EU countries.
Isabell Hoffmann, who is following the opinion of the independent Bertelsmann Foundation in the EU Foundation says that Brexit did not harm the EU's reputation – she helped him.
"We see a Brexit effect in the numbers when it comes to supporting the European Union," says Hoffmann. "Actually, they are rising significantly and staying awake ever since." This support has increased by 10 percentage points since the referendum in 2016. "There are now around 70 percent of respondents who would say," We would vote for our country to stay in the European Union. ""
Other surveys show a similar level of approval for the Brussels-based political union and the trading bloc of 28 nations. Observers say that today more people support the European Union because they are under siege.
Many Europeans are also cautious because the Brexit process, far from being smooth and successful as the Brexiteers had promised, was a disaster. Prime Minister Theresa May and the British Parliament have been trapped in a political labyrinth for months without a consensus on how to leave the EU. The British House of Commons, known for its loud but often scholarly and coherent debate, is characterized by screaming matches and vitamins.
George Papaconstantinou, who was Greek Minister of Finance from 2009 to 2011, says that much of Europe has watched Brexit play in disbelief and astonishment.
"A country that is proud to have an extremely robust parliamentary system is suddenly in a state of deepening," says Papaconstantinou.
The political unrest in London has made it difficult to leave the EU continent. "The entire process of Brexit is so complicated, so difficult – it has made people aware that you are not leaving the EU so easily," says Papaconstantinou. The Eurosceptic parties in France, the Netherlands and Sweden have since rejected calls for similar votes and instead changed the EU from within.
Over the past decade, the EU has been shaken by immigration and debt crises. In the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis, some countries, including Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Cyprus, were unable to repay or refinance their sovereign debt. The financial collapse threatened the European banking system. In 2015, more than one million migrants and asylum seekers from Africa and the Middle East traveled to Europe, squeezed public resources, promoted populism, and helped terminate the Brexit referendum.
Papaconstantinou says support for the EU has risen Not only because people fear the chaos that a divorce like Brexit would bring, but also because more Europeans seem to appreciate the EU and "a common destiny in a way that they did not do five years ago. "
But the Europeans The problems of the Union are far from over. Economic growth slows down. The population continues to age. And EU critics gain more political power.
Although Brexit has provided some fresh air, populism is a bigger challenge today than it was in 2016. In Italy, the third largest eurozone economy, populists are in charge of populist parties in Sweden, Spain, Germany, Austria and Estonia have made breakthroughs.
"I think you can speak convincingly why the challenges for the EU have grown in importance," said Matthew Goodwin, co-author of National Populism: The Uprising Against Liberal Democracy
Goodwin says the EU now has the upper hand and the Brexit mess has strengthened it. However, the long-term success of the European Union is by no means certain.