In a speech at a meeting of the European Council on Foreign Relations thinktank today in Paris, George Soros discussed a number of integral issues and developments related to the EU’s future.
EU-US Rift & ‘Major Financial Crisis’
Soros, who has been a vocal supporter of the Iran nuclear deal, which was jointly negotiated in 2015 between the Obama administration, Iran and a number of other world powers, stated that US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was "effectively destroying the trans-Atlantic alliance," warning that Trump's exit from the deal was further deteriorating diplomatic and trade ties between the US and the EU.
"This development [US withdrawal from the JCPOA] will put additional pressure of unpredictable force on an already beleaguered Europe. Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong,” he said.
Soros proceeded to say that worsening US-EU relations are “bound to have a negative effect on the European economy and cause other dislocations. We may be heading for another major financial crisis. It's no longer a figure of speech to say Europe is in existential danger; it is the harsh reality.
European members of the JCPOA are working with Russia and Tehran to salvage the deal, which was agreed after extensive negotiations, and resulted in the lifting of economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear program.
Meddling in Democracies
Amid allegations of him meddling in the Brexit process via large donations to anti-Brexit campaigning groups, Soros said on Tuesday that Britain’s future relationship with the EU is entirely up to the Brits.
"Ultimately, it's up to the British people to decide what they want to do, but it would be better if they came to a decision sooner rather than later.”
Soros responded to these claims, saying "Viktor Orban based his entire re-election campaign on falsely accusing me of planning to flood Europe, Hungary included, with Muslim refugees. He is now posing as the defender of his version of a Christian Europe, that is challenging the values on which the European Union was founded."
A bill, aptly dubbed the “Stop Soros Act,” which aims to limit the ability of Soros’ nongovernment organizations (NGOs) and other groups to operate in Hungary will be presented to parliament in June.
Dangers of Brexit
"Brexit is an immensely damaging process, harmful to both sides. This divorce will be a long process, probably five years, which is an eternity in politics," Soros said on Tuesday.
Soros proceeded to claim that there were many benefits of EU membership, but added that more could be done to potentially encourage the UK to rejoin the union in the future.
“The economic case for remaining a member of Europe remains strong, but it will take time for that to sink in. In the meantime, the EU needs to transform itself into an association which nations like Britain would want to join,” Mr. Soros added.
Soros has repeatedly expressed his opposition to Brexit, largely due to his pro-EU stance and interests, and has even attempted to stand in the way of the process by funding numerous anti-Brexit groups.
Earlier this month, it transpired that Soros was set to fund a multimillion dollar campaign by the Best for Britain group to prevent Brexit, once again raising questions over Soros’ meddling in democratic processes and the internal affairs of sovereign nations.