George Soros: Remarks delivered at the European Council on Foreign Relations

LONDON – The European Union is mired in an existential crisis. For the past decade, everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. How did a political project that has underpinned Europe’s postwar peace and prosperity arrive at this point?

In my youth, a small band of visionaries led by Jean Monnet transformed the European Coal and Steel Community first into the European Common Market and then the EU. People of my generation were enthusiastic supporters of the process.

I personally regarded the EU as the embodiment of the idea of the open society. It was a voluntary association of equal states that banded together and sacrificed part of their sovereignty for the common good. The idea of Europe as an open society continues to inspire me.

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George Soros is Chairman of Soros Fund Management and Chairman of the Open Society Foundations. A pioneer of the hedge-fund industry, he is the author of many books, including The Alchemy of Finance, The New Paradigm for Financial Markets: The Credit Crisis of 2008 and What it Means, and The Tragedy of the European Union.