I must admit that I am biased.

To me, the concept of a united Europe is the most beautiful vision to have been developed after World War II. The EU is the means of making this vision a reality where we can enjoy free trade, borderless mobility, pan-European education programmes and standards such as Erasmus and Pisa, and social stability through European investments. The EU is even the strategic answer to helping us stay on par with China and the US. So, for me, Brexit is terrible!

Back to business.

The short-term implications for our business will not be good. Britain is a key market in Europe and many European marketing HQ’s are based in London. The UK will now go through a phase of insecurity for at least two years. If anything is poisonous to business, it is insecurity as it reduces the level of investment and consumption. Since the communication industry is also procyclical, ad investments are likely to be harmed by Brexit. Clients will proceed with greater caution in the short-term.

In the mid-term, the consequences are more difficult to assess.

One point to watch out for will of course be the result of the negotiations. I am doubtful that the UK and EU will resolve Brexit in such a short time and believe it will take much longer than two years to arrive at a suitable deal. And whatever the deal is, it will not be better than what we already have today, for either party.

But it should also be noted that the UK has considered the EU as simply a free trade zone, and not much more.  Brexit will in fact force the EU to redefine its role and priorities, therefore allowing the EU to evolve and align itself more with what Europeans expect from it.

Maybe we may see a stronger, more popular European Union emerge. This would be good news for all and especially for our business.

Let’s not miss this opportunity!

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I will get straight to the point; I’m a big fan of the EU. It annoys me when economists complain about bureaucratic pettiness and sluggishness in Brussels and Strasbourg. Of course, there are many things to improve and one might well wonder about regulations such as 1677/88 / EEC, which dictates the degree of curvature in cucumbers.

But honestly, do those wondrous details have notable significance when compared to what the EU has done so far? Never, ever. So, we should more praise it rather than criticise: We take advantage of a travel without restrictions, a simplified flow of goods, improved transport and logistics, a more flexible labour and training market and the establishment of mandatory standards which have been a boon to the auto industry. These are the significant achievements of the EU, of which we Europeans can be proud.

We are creating an economic area which connects many nations; we are growing together. Out of “Made in Germany”, “Produit en France” or “Made in Britain” (to name only a few EU countries), comes “Made in Europe”. Businesses need to learn to think and act more European.

Winners BMW and Bosch

Especially German brands appear to have understood this. In a representative study “Best Brands 2016″, conducted by Serviceplan with partners and GfK in five EU countries, six German brands dominate the top ten European Brands: Porsche (1. Place), BMW (2.), Bosch (3.), Adidas (5.), Audi (6.) und Miele (7.). Two French brands made the top ten (Michelin, 8. and L’Oreal, 10.), as well as a Swedish (Ikea, 4.) and Swiss Brand Nestlé (9.).

All German companies have shown impressive figures. For example, BMW was looking in 2015 at its most successful year ever and in Europe alone, selling nearly one million vehicles. For Adidas, sales in Western Europe increased by a splendid 14 percent. The Bosch Group reported significantly stronger sales growth in Europe in 2014 with an increase of 4.2 percent to 37.5 billion euros (as of 12/15). And Miele recorded for 2014/15 its highest growth since 2005: by 8.3 percent to 3.49 billion euros.

It is notable that BMW and Bosch, two of the top companies on the winners’ podium, combine sustainability and bold future orientation. The car makers are preparing, with the utmost determination, their transformation into an electric mobility company before and were named the most sustainable company in the world in 2016 (according to market researchers Corporate Knights).

‘Made in Europe’ is in demand

Bosch stands out because of its advanced products for the networked mobile world – but also due to its ethical business philosophy: “A decent way of doing business, in the long run, the most profitable, and the business world values such an approach much more than one would expect,” wrote Robert Bosch in 1921.

The founder and Jean-Claude Juncker would probably have well understood each other because his beliefs correspond exactly to what the President of the European Commission calls for today. “In Europe we need a renaissance of the social market economy,” he noted in 2014 at the “Best Brands” gala evening, in his opening speech to it.

To put it bluntly, all the leading brands of Europe owe their remarkable success to the EU decisions. Their successful positioning as European brands also makes them popular worldwide. In countries such as China and Russia, goods “Made in Europe” are very popular.

This unique success is in danger through inner-European border closures. Just imagine what consequences this may have in the long run if a stagnant flow of goods paralyzed production and logistics. If performance and competitiveness decrease, purchasing power drops. That would be a chain reaction which would set European brands back by decades, and our economy with it.

I hope that politicians of all EU nations are aware of the consequences of their actions, and that they are prudent enough, to not lose sight of the original goal: the creation of a strong Europe as a common economic community with values which secure our common prosperity – whatever the current political turmoil.