The leader of Germany‘s main socialist party has called for a United States of Europe by 2025.
Martin Schulz said any countries who disagree should follow Britain’s example and leave the bloc.
He made the plea in a speech to 600 of his Social Democrats at a congress to decide whether to start coalition talks with Angela Merkel‘s party.
Martin Schulz said any countries who disagree with a federal Europe should follow Britain’s example and leave the bloc
He said: ‘I want a European constitutional treaty that creates a federal Europe’.
The treaty would then be presented to all member states for ratification, with those that reject it automatically leaving the bloc, he said.
He suggested a target year of 2025, one century after the SPD first spoke of a future ‘United States of Europe’.
Schulz said only a more united EU could meet challenges such as combating climate change or managing mass migration, forcing internet giants such as Google and Facebook to respect civil rights or stopping large companies from dodging taxes.
‘Europe is our life insurance,’ said Schulz. ‘It is the only chance we have to keep up with the other great regions of the world.’
He also argued that only a strengthened EU would stop the advance of right-wing nationalists, citing gains they had made in Germany as well as Austria, Denmark, Finland, France and the Netherlands.
‘If we don’t change course, if we don’t strengthen Europe in very practical and concrete ways, then these forces will win,’ he warned.
The former European Parliament president said the eurozone should have more investment and a common finance minister and budget.
Schulz said that if the SPD ends up again governing with Merkel, Berlin’s stance on Europe would have to shift away from the austerity approach of Merkel and her former finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble.
‘God knows that the European Union can’t afford another four years of German policies on Europe in the style of Wolfgang Schaeuble,’ he said to applause from 600 delegates.
Schulz said only a more united EU could meet challenges such as combating climate change