The European Union now needs "to become a state" to survive in the modern world, former Italian Prime Minister and ECB boss Mario Draghi has claimed. (EPA-EFE/MASSIMO PERCOSSI)


European Union now ‘needs to become a State’, Draghi says


The European Union needs “to become a State” to survive in the modern world, former Italian prime minister and European Central Bank boss Mario Draghi has claimed.

Speaking at the launch of a book discussing the lasting impact of the Roman Empire, he insisted that another pan-European superstate was now needed on the Continent.

According to a report by the ANSA wire service, Draghi described Europe as having arrived at a “critical moment” with its previous economic prosperity now under threat.

The only option, according to Draghi, is Europe has to circumvent that threat now via political unification.

“The [previous] growth model has dissolved and we need to reinvent a way of growing, but we need to become a State to do this,” he told those attending the launch.

Draghi highlighted the smaller size of European economies as posing a particular problem compared to the larger players that now dominate the globe both economically and militarily.

“The European market is too small, there are many markets and, therefore, the small businesses that start in Europe either sell up or go to the United States as soon as they grow,” he said.

“The most important thing now is to figure out how to set up European funds to finance defence and the fight against climate change.”

Draghi said he wanted to see Eurocrats work towards political unification under Brussels, starting with the establishment of a single EU foreign policy and working from there.

“We need to think about greater political integration, about a real ‘Parliament of Europe’, to start thinking that we are [both] Italian and European,” he said.

Draghi was not always such a fan of the EU. He wrote his final university thesis in his student years about how the Euro as a currency “made no sense”.

Ironically, the Italian politician’s conversion to economic and political Euro-federalism comes as that movement appears to be in decline. Draghi lost his position as prime minister to Giorgia Meloni’s nationalist Right.

Things seem to be getting worse for the Continent’s pro-EU faction. Successive votes in Slovakia and the Netherlands have resulted in Eurosceptic parties topping the polls.

One of the bloc’s few electoral wins this year also appears to be turning sour, with soon-to-be Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk coming out against the idea of EU Treaty change following his recent victory.

“One of the reasons why the UK left the EU was this naive, sometimes even unbearable Euro-enthusiasm, which was transformed into projects that changed the character of the EU,” he remarked, insisting his Civic Platform party’s MEPs would vote against recently proposed Treaty adjustments.

“No groups on the Polish political scene will allow ourselves to be involved in any decisions, manoeuvres or processes that would limit Polish independence, sovereignty and interests,” he stated.