There are a wide variety of feelings that emerge when tragedies occur and obviously my first thoughts are with the victims, those supporting the victims, the entire city of Brussels, the country of Belgium and everyone within the region that will be impacted in one way or another by the horrific attacks in Brussels only hours ago.
As the news continues to unfold throughout the day, I can’t help but wonder if an event like this brings the EU closer together, unifies the members, and reminds them of why they came together in the first place. What type of impact might an event like this – or the attacks in Paris late last year – have on the UK’s decision to leave the EU? As the Brexit debate plays on and the ultimate vote gets closer, I am keen to hear how each side will interpret the events in Brussels and recalculate the costs associated with staying or leaving the EU.
European solidarity must prevail. The atrocious attacks in Paris in November were an attack on the European way of life. But we will not concede defeat. We will not give into fear by resurrecting walls only so recently torn down. We will not confuse the perpetrators of these heinous crimes with those fleeing in their wake. Europe – the love of my life. This brave continent. This noble people. A place perceived worldwide as being safe and just. We will live up to that reputation. We will show our resilience. European integration is a multifaceted and often complicated affair. We do not always get it right the first time. But if I could describe Europe with just one word, it would be “perseverance”. Collectively, we are stronger than the challenges that confront us.