Brexit has been an interesting topic of conversation over here. I’ve talked with a German and with someone with Spanish/French background and they have similar views on the subject. It sounds like the common thought in these countries is that the UK oftentimes acts as though it is superior to the rest of the European countries, and believes it deserves a certain level of treatment or flexibility in complying with EU law. Other Europeans are worried as to what the departure of the UK means in terms of the significance of the EU (in that the EU was established to unify the continent both politically and economically, and this departure could be seen as a failure of the system to establish these relationships). On the other hand though, the general sentiment towards the British has led people to state that if they want out, then they just need to leave…and feel the consequences.
What I thought most curious was that, while discussing the referendum, my German friend wondered why the departure of the UK would not be up for an EU vote instead of just a UK vote. She stated that the UK’s exit has consequences not just for them, but for the entire European Union, and thus the EU should have been better informed and involved in this decision. This was interesting to hear, as I would consider this vote more an act of sovereignty in defining the UK’s political and economic structure and not something that the entire EU would debate.
On a lighter note, a group of almost 20 geography students from the Institute of Geography at FAU recently went on an excursion through the U.S. Midwest. When in Detroit, they used the bus system to get around, and a professor told me that all of the Detroiters on the bus were very excited to meet Germans interested in the way that they live and how their city functions. The whole bus was alive with conversation, and the professor came out with a very positive impression of the people he met there. I’m so glad to hear of out-of-towners taking the time to see past Detroit’s less-than-glamorous reputation.
Well, it’s time for me to get going. Germany plays Italy in the quarter-finals of the Euro Cup tonight. Let’s go Deutschland!