As Donald Tusk very clearly stated on the EPC 20th Anniversary Conference: “the only real alternative of a hard Brexit is no Brexit at all”. Multiple messages suggested from the leaders of Europe that the Union would be still willing and happy to keep Britain among its members, however unlikely this scenario should be after Theresa May’s statement, namely that “Brexit means Brexit”.
Whereas there is an agreement among the citizens of Europe that the “voice of the people” should be respected, we have major concerns about the voice of the youth being ignored repeatedly by decision makers. The youth clearly wants to see a united Europe. The youth understands that we are truly stronger and more successful if we are working together on mutually beneficial, win-win solutions instead of pushing our own agenda. No wonder therefore that the youth voted with a huge majority for Remain, namely with 75% among the 24 years old and younger.
Every change, however painful it should be, brings a new opportunity with itself. Luckily, entrepreneurs always found a way to break down boarders and make their ideas and products available for a much larger community than the citizens of a country. They have also always found a way to lobby politicians into more beneficial regulations for international trade and business and therefore make the positive effects of globalisation available for most of the population of our planet. The most effective cure against the negative effects of a possible hard Brexit therefore is to strengthen the entrepreneurial spirit and empower the entrepreneurs of the future.
Luckily, if politicians fail to live up to the expectations of the millennials in decision making, civil society still has a way to create and nurture connections in the whole European community, including Britain. Having a network without borders has a huge benefit for aspiring entrepreneurs, as it helps to understand and work with different cultures and people from different backgrounds. We at JADE are proud to work on a creation of JADE UK, our confederation in the United Kingdom, to make the benefits of the membership of a European organisation available for British students.
We believe that there are times when action is required. There are times when we must step up to build bridges to foster connections among the whole European community. This is one of those times and we are fully committed to unite the youth of Europe, Brexit or not, to co-create a better future.
About the author
Krisztian Ivan, the author of the article, is a member of JADE – European Confederation of Junior Enterprises’ executive board as the Director of the Finance and Private Cooperation departments in which he works with companies as Simon Kucher & Partners, Microsoft or Covestro. He is an entrepreneur himself and the former Managing Director of a property management company. Originally from Hungary, he has travelled in several countries and is now studying in the United Kingdom, at University of Brighton, and doing his BsC Business Management with Economics degree.