Jean-Claude Juncker, the former Prime Minister of Luxembourg who now serves as President of the European Union’s powerful unelected executive, will not stand for a second term after 2019.
The despondent 62-year-old said he doubted the bloc would hold together during the upcoming Brexit negotiations, reports Sky News, in an interview with Deutschlandfunk Radio which will air on the 11th of February 2017.
“The other EU 27 don’t know it yet, but the Brits know very well how they can tackle [the negotiations]”, he said. “They could promise country A this, country B that and country C something else and the end game is that there is not [a] united European front.
“Has the time come for when the European Union of the 27 must show unity, cohesion and coherence?” he asked rhetorically. “Yes, I say yes, when it comes to Brexit and Trump… but I have some justified doubts that it will really happen.
“Do the Poles and the Hungarians want exactly the same thing as the Germans and the French? I have serious doubts.”
Jarosław Kaczyński, Chairman of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS), has already claimed that two camps have formed in the European Union.
“Officially everyone loves the United Kingdom and doesn’t want to give them a hard time,” the veteran conservative told the Daily Telegraph, “but some people really want to make it as tough as possible for the United Kingdom.
“Meanwhile some of us would like to sustain a kind of partnership with the United Kingdom. Not within Europe – since you do not wish to remain inside – but very close and friendly relations from outside the European Union. Poland belongs to the second category of voices.”
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who has pledged to lead a “cultural counter-revolution” in Europe alongside Kaczyński, cited the Brexit vote as one of many acts of popular rebellion against the “the lords of globalist politics” in his recent state of the nation address.
Orbán committed to strong bilateral relations with the UK following a meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May in November 2016.