This has been the Eurocrats' objective for a long time, but it's scary to see it declared so openly by such a high-profile figure.
Former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder on Sunday called for the creation of a "United States of Europe," saying the bloc needed a common government to avoid future economic crises.
Schroeder, a Social Democrat who ran the country from 1998 to 2005, said in an interview with Der Spiegel that European Union leaders were wrong to expect the euro to drive the bloc on its own.
"The current crisis makes it relentlessly clear that we cannot have a common currency zone without a common fiscal, economic and social policy," Schroeder said.
He added: "We will have to give up national sovereignty."
"From the European Commission, we should make a government which would be supervised by the European Parliament. And that means the United States of Europe."
The article concludes:
Hat tip to James Delingpole.
In order to initiate these changes, Schroeder said EU member states would have to return to the negotiating table and hammer out a new treaty to replace the one agreed in Lisbon that currently serves as the bloc's institutional framework.
"In the crisis lies a real opportunity to achieve a political union in Europe," he said.
Schroeder, who says the EU can only respond to growing competition with the United States and Asia by being fully united, has long pointed to Britain as a hurdle to further EU integration.
"Great Britain causes the greatest problems. (It is) not in the euro but the British nevertheless always want to participate when it comes to designing a European economic area," he said. "That doesn't work."