Leader of the left-progressive group in the European Parliament Guy Verhofstadt has said that in order to compete with the rest of the world, the European Union must become an “empire.”
The leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe (ALDE) told CNN that proposals by European populist-patriots to reform the EU and devolve power from Brussels back to the nation-state would mean that the bloc “will die inside.”
“The world is developing into one not of nation states, but of empires. China is an empire. India is an empire. The US is an empire. We need to create a European Union that is capable of defending our interests,” Mr Verhofstadt stated during the interview, speaking to the leftist American news network in what was described as his “spacious” Brussels office.
Mr Verhofstadt, who is also the European Parliament’s Brexit Coordinator, is an avid supporter of greater federalisation of the European Union.
During a Euronews Raw Politics panel last week, the former prime minister of Belgium compared a proposed United States of Europe to the United States of America, saying: “The United States of Europe is a way to organise a common action on the European level by recognising, by guaranteeing the autonomy of the member states.”
Other Eurocrats have also voiced support for a United States of Europe, including former president of the European Parliament and German socialist politician Martin Schulz who called for its formation by 2025.
EU Elections ‘Last Chance to End Nationalist Nightmare’ – Verhofstadt https://t.co/umvAi1hXCm
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While a number of prominent European politicians have voiced their support for other measures of greater centralisation of power and federalisation, including President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker who wants an EU army by 2025; the progressive President of France Emmanuel Macron who proposed full monetary union with a common EU budget, a finance ministry, and an EU public prosecutor to protect the Single Market from abuses; and German Chancellor Angela Merkel who urged the bloc to adopt a common migration policy.
Eurocrats are panicking that this week’s elections will result in a wave of patriot-nationalists, populists, and eurosceptics taking seats in the European Parliament, disrupting their plans for a Europe of Ever Closer Union.
Speaking during a rally headed by several populist leaders from across the continent earlier this month, French political firebrand Marine Le Pen predicted the end of the European Union as it is currently formed, heralding instead “a new European harmony” of sovereign European nations “joining forces to offer 500 million Europeans a new framework for cooperation, a new project and a new potential for the future.”