The European Parliament’s Brexit co-ordinator and leader of the growing Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe (ALDE) group has told CNN that he has unequivocal aspirations for the European Union (EU) to become an empire.
Speaking to CNN’s Luke McGee, 66-year-old Guy Verhofstadt MEP openly declared: “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”.
Nationalist politicians often talk about reclaiming their country’s sovereignty, stripping away centralized power from Brussels.
Verhofstadt says this is the wrong answer to Europe’s challenges and points to the Council — one of the key institutions of the EU — as something that isn’t working in its current form.
The Council is the forum in which national governments decide on European policy. It makes decisions either by qualified majority or unanimity, depending on the issue. This can mean a single member state derailing huge issues because they don’t agree with them.