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Editorial

Dear Reader,

Brexit has been the latest event to clearly show that the European Union (EU) is in a state of upheaval. Many EU citizens have lost faith in the EU. Looking back at the early days of the EU, it’s also clear that back then, just as today, not everyone could be convinced of the vision and advantages of a peaceful, united and economically successful Europe. On December 11, 1951 in Paris, Paul Henri Spaak, known as a European visionary and talented persuader, summed it up perfectly when he said:  

 

“... some may be barely aware of the relevance and usefulness of this venture – but for a number of us, the task before us is of the utmost import and urgency …” 1 

 

In retrospect, the United Kingdom, as a member of the European Union, has been actively helping to shape the benefits and visions of the EU in past years. Now, the current relationship with the EU must finish by the end of March 2019 and future relations have to be redefined. 

 

But how does the UK’s withdrawal affect social security? The time of free movement of goods and people with respect to the United Kingdom is coming to an end, or at least will be limited. This raises the question as to whether British pensioners living in Germany can continue to receive old-age pensions from the United Kingdom after Brexit. What does the future hold for what has been access to medical treatment for German citizens in the UK? What about European certifications or approvals for medical devices, drugs or personal protective equipment that has been ­fully acknowledged by the United Kingdom up until now? 

 

The answers to many questions depend on the relationship between the EU and the United Kingdom following Brexit. However, it is already clear today that the separation between the UK and the EU means more bureaucracy and costs for all, including mobile citizens. 

 

We hope you enjoy reading this edition of ed*! 

 

Ilka Wölfle