BELGRADE – The German Federal Foreign Office is set to open up a public debate on the future of the EU in a bid to secure the union’s future; financial crisis, refugee influx and the shock from the Brexit referendum has sent the block into “violent turmoil” which might end up with its collapse, according to German FM Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

“The financial crisis, the refugee influx into Europe and the shock from the Brexit referendum in Great Britain have brought the European Union into violent turmoil,” German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in an interview with German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung.

The country’s top diplomat further warned that it might lead to the collapse of the union.

Steinmeier noted that for the past year that those things which were considered as absolute certainties have been suddenly brought into question. Even “hard-hitting advocates of the EU” now have to convince themselves in the need of the common European space. “If we do not appreciate the value of the EU, it will go to the dogs,” the foreign minister told the newspaper. The top diplomat warned that the right-wing populists might speculate on this situation to gain votes in the upcoming parliamentary elections next year.

Therefore the country’s Federal Foreign Office is set to launch a public debate on the future of the EU in a bid to secure the union’s future.

“We want to face criticism to be able to understand what is right and what is wrong with Europe,” Steinmeier said, adding that Germany expects similar activities in other EU member states.