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George Soros: The EU Is My Top Priority

George Soros Speaks About The EuroGeorge Soros Speaks About The Euro
Billionaire investor George Soros speaks on "The Tragedy of the European Union" as a guest of The Institute for Media and Communications Policy on September 10, 2012 in Berlin, Germany.Photograph by Sean Gallup — Getty Images

Noted investor George Soros wants the European Union to stay together.

“It is now the top of my priority,” the founder of Soros Fund Management said at the 2016 Concordia Summit in New York Tuesday, adding that the private and public sectors must now find a way to prevent the union from falling apart—though he isn’t to hopeful that the EU will remain intact.

The issues facing the union, including its migrant crisis and economic woes, are both numerous and costly. Economic and political unrest is what first prompted the U.K.’s surprise decision to leave the EU back in June. Now, similar movements from France and Austria are gaining steam.

“The EU must find a way to generate economic growth to make all its problems easier to solve,” Soros said.

But the solution to creating economic growth isn’t simple, at least according to Soros, and “chances of success remain slim,” he wrote in a piece for Foreign Policy in July—not long after the U.K. decided to leave the EU.

In the same piece, the Hungarian-American billionaire unveiled a seven-point plan that focused heavily on migrants. He recommended the EU admit at least 300,000 refugees annually, and countries within the union create a system for relocating migrants. These refugees would eventually help boost productivity and generate growth.

The refugee crisis will cost the EU about $30 billion a year for several years, Soros said.

“The refugee crisis was already leading to the slow disintegration of the European Union. Then, on June 23, it contributed to an even greater calamity—Brexit,” he added. “Both of these crises have reinforced xenophobic, nationalist movements across the continent.”


The 86-year-old investor, who is also a refugee, also pledged $500 million to fund startups and migrant-founded companies earlier on Tuesday, in a bid to help solve the worldwide crisis.

These companies may have solutions to the migrant crisis, including digital technology, which “seems particularly promising for providing solutions.”

And in case anyone is wondering where the famed investor is looking for his next big opportunity (he made a billion back in the 90s from betting against the pound), the answer is Jordan.

“It’s a country with strategic significance,” he said during the Summit, “with a very forward-looking government.”