By Christian Chen, Staff Writer

They say that Europe won the Cold War and the Soviet Union fell not long after the fall of the Berlin Wall. People have said that the European Union is teetering on the edge of failure, but could the European Union actually collapse?

To the supporters of such a claim, things seem to be falling apart. Syria and Greece are challenging the EU’s prescriptions of austerity. Racism and xenophobia have run rampant across Europe and there is also the case of Islamophobia, thanks to the killings at the Munich Olympics, the Charlie Hebdo shooting, and a large majority of Europeans saying that Islam has no place in Europe. There is also the end of the Eurozone. People say that the unraveling of regional integration could do well to doom the European Union. The possible dystopian future can be glimpsed in what has already happened in the eastern borderlands of Europe. The supporters of such a scenario argue that if the economic, political and social structures succumb to fractiousness, the EU could collapse.

Other people disagree. Author Ruchir Sharma has said that “it would take a much worse economic crisis for the EU to actually collapse.” Other anti-collapse parties claim that the Eurozone is currently unharmed and that It would really be disruptive if France leaves the EU with Britain. However, that is not enough to totally destroy the European Union. The collapse of the EU may most likely be the result of several different tragedies, not just one or two random ones. One occurrence alone is not going to doom the EU. Realistically, a series of devastating scenarios would have to happen if the European Union were to collapse.

Although the collapse of the European Union is a rather dark prospect, I doubt it will actually happen any time soon. I mean, sure the issue with Brexit is a big deal, but it’s not the end of the world. In fact, I stand with most politicians who agree that a few bad apples here and there will weaken the EU, but it won’t outright destroy it. The only reasons for the European Union’s potential collapse that I find the most realistic are: Muslim fundamentalists infiltrating EU member countries (which will take years, assuming they don’t get busted), a series of economic disasters, other important member countries leaving the EU like what happened with Brexit, or a combination of those.

Overall, I highly doubt something like Brexit alone would bring down the EU. More factors than simply one country leaving would have to be at play, but if it does happen, I would say lightning struck twice.