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Verhofstadt admits fears for future of EU – pinpoints next US election as turning point

Guy Verhofstadt discusses 'weaknesses' within the EU

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Expressing his concerns on Twitter, the Pro-European MEP warned that, if Donald Trump were to come back into power at the next election, Europe would be left “alone in a world of tyrants and dictators.” He said: “If Trump wins in 2024 and rolls out the red carpet for Putin, Europe would be alone in a world of tyrants and dictators. The EU is stronger when it works together! Russia’s crisis shows we need an [EU flag] military and defence capacity, as a pillar of NATO.”

This comes amid simmering fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, as more than 100,000 Russian troops have been stationed on Ukraine’s border.

Mr Putin has demanded that Ukraine be barred from joining NATO, but the defensive alliance has so far refused to agree to his terms.

Many users on Twitter expressed their support for a European army.

Edoardo Sarotto said: “We need a European Army, with a European diplomacy and a European intelligence service, not a European-Nato: we need a federal army.”

Another user, nicknamed Man on the Clapham omnibus wrote: “Better to disband NATO and replace it with an EU army.

“Europe’s interests are not the same as the US’s.

“We cannot ‘kick Russia out of Europe’.”

However, others were not convinced, with one user pointing out a lack of “trust” among EU member states.

A Twitter user called “Albo for PM”, wrote: “Long overdue, good luck with agreeing on anything though.

“Putin bought too much influence already and atm there’s not much trust among EU member states.

“EU needs to learn how to act as a united front.”

Another user, Chris, questioned: “Who is going to pay for your European army?

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“Defence spending in most European states is very low, especially in Belgium.”

Mr Verhofstadt’s comments about Mr Trump come amid growing speculation about the former President’s return to politics.

Mr Trump became just the tenth US President to fail to win a second term after he lost to Joe Biden in 2020.

The former President has previously suggested that he is considering staging a bid for the presidency in 2024.

Speaking to supporters at a recent rally in Texas, the 45th President said: “We are going to take back the White House.”

He added: “My fellow Americans, this incredible journey we are on together has only just begun.”

He has also recently been planning his return to social media, after his Twitter, Facebook and YouTube accounts were terminated in the wake of the January 6 Capitol attacks.

Mr Trump is set to make a comeback with the launch of his own app “Truth Social”.

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