Guy Verhofstadt, the 63-year-old former Belgian Prime Minister, has said the growing threats from Donald Trump, Russia and Islamic extremism means the EU needs a greater level of defence and political unity.
The 63-year-old argued that over 60 per cent of Europeans would support an EU army.
He was asked on LBC by presenter Matt Frei: "What you want is a proper United States of Europe. Fiscal union, monetary union, defence union and political union."
Guy Verhofstadt has insisted that the European Union need an army
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In reply Mr Verhofstadt made no attempt to deny the accusations, but argued his plans would also lead to a shrinking of the European Commission, the executive arm of the EU.
He said: “I don’t want a commission with 28 commissioners as it is today. I want a smaller, real European government.
“With 12, with 15 members and not more than that.
The MEP described the difficulties of making progress in the European Union due to policies having to be run past 28 member states.
He argued this makes the EU slow to react to issues global issues such as the migrant crisis or the growing threat from Russia or the Middle East.
Frei told the Belgian how the world was turning away from federalised organisations and back towards the nation state.
Theresa May and Donald Trump met last week and talked about trade after Brexit
I think it is necessary to create a defence union
When Frei argued the major failures of the EU was exhibited by the poor handling of the migrant and refugee crisis, Mr Verhofstadt again turned the argument around in support of further EU federalisation.
He said: "The European policies were not in place, take for example borders and coastguard management.
“The Italians were doing a job, the Greeks were doing a job, there was no one European border and coast management, what is the first thing to do? A proper management of your own external borders.”
Mr Verhofstadt continued describing his EU dream: “Politically and certainly also on defence because I think the world of tomorrow that will be absolutely key.
Greek migrant crisis Tue, June 28, 2016
Hundreds of migrants deported to Turkey, as part of EU-Turkey Refugee Deal.
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Greek Orthodox monk welcoming refugees arriving on a dinghy on a northeastern coast of the island of Lesvos, Greece
“If I hear Mr Trump say ‘I bet on the further disintegration of the union’, I don’t think it’s in the interests of America to have a weak European ally, this is what he is saying.
“I think it is necessary to take our own responsibility also on an issue like defence and to create a defence union, next to the political union, and the economics.”
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