As the bloc celebrates the 60th anniversary of its founding, the duo admitted it was in danger of collapsing unless major changes take place.
The grim assessment was made by two of the European Union’s biggest names, Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s Brexit negotiator, and Manfred Weber, an MEP and key ally of Angela Merkel in her German coalition government.
Enthusiasm which had greeted the union when it was first formed had long since given way to “disillusion and disarray”, the pair admitted.
Guy Verhofstadt has admitted the EU is at a 'crossroads'
In a joint opinion piece for website Politico, they said: “Now, for the first time, the European Union’s survival is at risk. Faced with this existential crisis, it cannot survive unchanged.
“When they signed the Treaty of Rome 60 years ago, six nations that had been at war for decades took a crucial first step toward establishing an unprecedented period of peace in Europe.
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MEP Manfred Weber also condemned the direction the EU was heading
“But today, the enthusiasm of those early days has given way to disillusion and disarray.”
They said the benefits offered by the EU, such as copyrights protection and cheaper air travel, was “no longer enough”.
Mr Verhofstadt and Mr Weber said: “On major issues such as migration, security and defence, Europe has demonstrated that it is unable to act.”
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EU leaders will gather for a two-day summit to discuss a number of issues including Great Britain's exit from the Union
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Hollande and Merkel on the second day of a European Summit
However, rather than accept that the EU is doomed to fail, the pair suggested MORE influence from Brussels was the solution.
They said: “We need to speed up European integration so that we can effectively deliver results for citizens across the continent. If we don’t, we’ll have destroyed what we spent the past 60 years building.
“The question of whether we should have 'more' or 'less' Europe is beside the point. The EU has to be big on big things and small on small things.
“It has to improve cooperation between Brussels and EU members and involve its citizens more directly in its decision-making process.”
Brexit has thrown the European Union into turmoil
They also vowed to turn the bloc into a “security union”, hinting at the proposed controversial EU Army.
Mr Verhofstadt and Mr Weber concluded by putting pressure on EU leaders to back plans to kick-start the union.
Guy Verhofstadt admitted the migrant crisis had devastated trust in the EU
We can’t afford to waste any more time. The time to reinvent Europe is now
They said: “This project is at a crossroads. It is our collective challenge and individual responsibility to engage with our fellow Europeans.
“We must renew their confidence and pride in this unique union and in our common future.
“We can’t afford to waste any more time. The time to reinvent Europe is now.”