Flags of UK and EU in BrusselsBrussels, June 27th, 2016 – As a new working week began in Brussels on Monday, the British vote to leave the European Union seems to have driven the continent into a political turmoil.  Ahead of the EU summit, which begins on Tuesday in Brussels, it was still unclear when Britain will formally initiate the exit process. Meanwhile analysts predict that the cloud of political instability could remain over Europe for many years to come as the EU maneuvers itself through the first exit of a major member state. Greenland, an autonomous state under the Kingdom of Denmark, left the EU in 1985.

In a statement in Helsinki on Monday, ECI Founding Director Tomas Sandell pointed out that “the current political instability and impending fragmentation of Europe demand a strong and united voice for Israel.  In a complex and interdependent world, friends of Israel need to stand together, surmounting national boundaries. We cannot ignore the danger that Israel is facing in the Middle East because of political instability in Europe. We need to continue to stand united with the Jewish state”.

The European Coalition for Israel (ECI) was founded in Brussels in 2003 to address the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe, with a clear focus on engaging with the European institutions. Since 2010, ECI has expanded its scope to also include the UN in New York.

“Britain may have decided to leave the European Union but it cannot leave the international community”, Sandell said. “We believe Britain will continue to play an important role in the international community. It is now our responsibility to make sure that Britain becomes a strong and steadfast supporter and friend of Israel also outside of the EU.  ECI, for its part, is determined to continue working closely together with our British friends and supporters towards achieving this goal”.

ECI will be hosting its first London-based conference on November 5th in order to engage more directly with our supporters in the UK and raise awareness on a national level.