Photocredits: Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Recently commentators and politicians have stressed the success of the PA scheme and compare it to the uncertain state of affairs in the European Union and the unexpected Brexit referendum results. They present the PA as a reference to follow.
However, I see that there are important lessons for the PA to learn from the EU situation and the British exit decision likely to materialise within the next two years. The reasons for the UK exit point to three important factors, identity conflicts paired with nationalistic rebirth, social inequality, and immigration concerns. The factors speak about the discontent of some sectors of the population over labour migration and the worsening of working conditions and paying for less qualified workers in the agriculture and services industry. The insufficient development of social policies and infrastructure (education, housing, and health) that could cope effectively with the demands of a growing population exacerbate tensions between social groups by overstretching the capabilities of the system in detriment of essential public service supply. These factors and the discontent of some groups of the population with the distribution of the benefits from the EU integration have created appropriate conditions for the nationalist sentiment to be revived and be fed by the pro exit campaigners. The results are evident, voters feeling disenfranchised with the integration project and paying the collateral costs voted to leave and won.