EU must change! Brussels urged to use Brexit as opportunity to reform

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Thierry Drilhon, the President of the Franco-British Chamber of Commerce in Paris, has said Brexit should be seen “not as a challenge but an opportunity”. He pointed out three ways the UK’s split from the bloc will create new opportunities, including giving a chance for the EU to push through much-needed reforms.

Speaking to, Mr Drilhon said: “I think Brexit should be seen as a threefold of opportunities.

“Number one is an opportunity to rethink the ways we want to trade between the UK and France.

“The second is an opportunity for friends, which represents added value.

“The third opportunity is an opportunity for Europe to rethink the governance.”

When further probed on whether the bloc needed to change, the President of the Franco-British Chamber of Commerce in Paris said: “Oh for sure.”

He went onto explain the bloc was created in the 1950s, and has seldom been reformed.

Mr Drilhon said: “Europe was created with seven players, seven nations.

“Europe is a group of diverse countries, representing 27 countries.

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“So the governance rules should be different.

“The vision should be different.

“The way to organise should be different.”

Mr Drilhon suggests the bloc usually makes progress when it is faced with “challenging moments”.

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He indicated the coronavirus pandemic and the resultant crisis is an opportunity for member countries to join forces and move the EU forwards.

He said: “Yes the governance, yes the overall vision then for Europe and all the countries being part of the union will be different in the coming weeks, months and years.”

Bashkim Smakaj, the National Security Advisor to the President of Kosovo, has also claimed the coronavirus crisis has highlighted a need for the EU to undergo deep reforms.

In an opinion piece for Euractiv, Mr Smakaj said: “The situation created by the global COVID-19 pandemic, along with many previous situations that the Union has faced, is revealing the weaker points of this treaty and the need for a deeper reform within the EU.”

He added: “It has shown clumsiness in taking the necessary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 inside the EU.”

Mr Smakaj suggested at the end of the pandemic, the EU must: “Undergo deep reforms and move to the next level – a level where the EU would be able to face all the global challenges as a single body, effectively and efficiently, no longer as a Mega Superstructure and Mega Super Administration moving at the speed of a sloth.”

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