In the wake of the Brexit vote, the key issue facing the EU is how to keep close relations with non-member neighbors that share our Western political and economic values. What can the EU offer not just the U.K., but countries such as Ukraine, Moldova or Georgia? Brexit has the possibility to be not just a challenge, but an opportunity to build a new type of continental partnership along the lines of a recent proposal by the think tank Bruegel.This partnership would be “considerably less deep than EU membership but rather closer than a simple free-trade agreement.” It would seek to deepen economic integration, but exclude the freedom of movement of workers and political integration. The bottom line should be clear: Such a partnership would not be exclusive of membership, and even Britain should one day be allowed to rejoin the EU, if it should so choose.The Brexit vote need not necessitate a turn away from the world. It should instead provide an impetus for deeper cooperation and reform. The EU must forge ahead to finalize free-trade agreements with the United States, Canada, Ukraine and others. We also need to enhance cooperation between the EU and NATO, implementing the proposals put forth to that end by the presidents of the European Council, the European Commission, and the secretary-general of NATO.At the same time, we must deepen integration within the EU. On August 6 the world celebrated the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web. The internet is now recognized as a general purpose technology, alongside the steam engine, electronics and computers. Countries that were born (or reborn) in 1991 are the nation equivalents of digital natives; we are early adopters and consider the internet a birthright.Thanks primarily to its ability to provide entertainment, nearly 100 percent of Europeans will soon be users of the internet. But the internet is not only a source of entertainment. It holds great potential for driving economic growth and increasing productivity.Achieving this will require national-level efforts, such as enhancing digital skills, investing in infrastructure and improving the regulatory environment. But it is important to remember that the biggest obstacle facing European companies in the digital era are the barriers and heterogeneity in the EU’s regulations regarding goods and services, and not only the rules governing copyright and telecommunication roaming charges. In addition to bringing the single market’s four freedoms — of goods, capital, services and people — into the digital age, we must introduce a fifth freedom: the free movement of data. We must eliminate data localization barriers, put citizens in control of their data, and make clear who owns what data. We must also facilitate the construction of digital governments, ensure that registers are interoperable and open, and make all public data standardized and machine-readable and therefore accessible to citizens and industry.This effort might be a moonshot for our generation, freeing data in order to make daily lives better and economies more productive.* * *Finally, we must not forget the importance of the Schengen area, of an EU without internal borders. Today’s migration pressure was not caused by European integration; it must not be allowed to derail it.Re-establishing borders inside Europe will hurt our well-being and freedom and risk reversing everything that we’ve achieved. We must find a way to prevent the return of internal borders, while ensuring security and providing Europeans with confidence that the situation is under control.Migration pressures are here to stay, as the world grows ever more connected. Managing them will require the careful implementation of recent decisions, including the establishment of the European Borders and Coast Guard, the use of technology to regain control of the frontiers, and deeper engagement with countries of origin and transit. These decisions seem to follow a line of thinking that holds that highly indebted countries with aging populations will be better off with fewer occasions for growth, fewer opportunities for their young people, and fewer possibilities for companies to pursue their dreams and economic incentives.The EU cannot afford to continue on this path; if it does, it will place itself on a downward spiral of isolation and stagnation. That is why it must choose a different way forward, one built on openness and cooperation.As we in the EU navigate the post-Brexit world, we must stick to our values, maintain our promises, and improve our communication.Seen from the outside, the U.K. looks like it is already regrouping after the initial shock of Brexit. It has confidently stated that it will remain European and act as a trustworthy ally, an outward-looking trading partner and a global power. There can be little doubt that the British government will soon be ready to start talks with Europe and the rest of the world.It is in our collective interest that the U.K. remain close to the EU. To be sure, Britain will want a tailor-made arrangement with us. This is important not only for its own sake, but because whatever agreement is made could serve as a template for stronger relations with other close neighbors.* * * As we in the EU navigate the post-Brexit world, we must stick to our values, maintain our promises, and improve our communication. The world needs an open, confident and prosperous Europe. Nobody will benefit if we cut ourselves off.Taavi Rõivas is the prime minister of Estonia. Also On POLITICO Tusk urges Europe’s leaders to heed Brexit lessons By David M. Herszenhorn The two-presidents Europe By Florian Eder State of the Union report card By Craig Winneker BRUSSELS SKETCH Jean-Claude Juncker’s (not quite) JFK moment By Tim King TALLINN — In the months following the United Kingdom’s Brexit referendum, the European Union seems to be undergoing an episode of post-traumatic stress. At a time when increased openness is of the utmost importance, the Continent is erecting internal barriers and isolating itself from the rest of the world.Some of the countries that make up the EU are downplaying the common values upon which the union was built in favor of a system that relies on barriers, protectionism and even localism. We are at risk of returning to an era of great walls and great barriers, a Europe not of union, but of countries acting alone.Meanwhile, despite a dire need for cooperation, the EU is neglecting to engage even its closest allies and most important partners. We are turning down opportunities to strengthen transatlantic ties and distancing ourselves from Turkey at the very moment when we most need the country and it most needs us.