Speaking to Euronews, the former Italian Prime Minister argued the European Union is a “union of minorities” and that if member states went back to the nation-state status quo Europe would be “lost”. He said: “We have to go back to some sort of common will in Europe with different conditions, with different rules.
“The best definition of Europe is the European Union is a union of minorities.
“If we don’t go back to that and we represent the minorities inside the Commission, Europe is lost.”
Confronted with the idea populists parties could change the dynamics of the European Parliament at the next elections in May, Mr Prodi laughed.
He replied: “Look, after Brexit, the populists anti-Europeans are going down.
“They understand what Europe gives you and they are happy to keep it.”
He added Brexit has given a lesson to the rest of Europe and that the EU will overcome these difficult moments.
He said: “I am sure. Of course, probably after the deepening of the crisis, maybe because of fear not because of joy as I hoped, but there is no alternative.”
The former Commission Chief’s comments come after a momentous week in the UK Parliament in which MPs rejected Theresa May’s Brexit deal for the second time.
The Commons also voted to rule out a no deal Brexit scenario under any circumstance and instructed the Prime Minister to request an extension of Article 50 when she will fly back to Brussels for the European Summit next week.
Now Mrs May is holding urgent discussions with the DUP ahead of an attempt to bring back her deal for a third meaningful vote.
The Unionists rejected Mrs May’s Brexit deal this week over continued legal wrangling about the Irish backstop.
Across the channel, EU leaders are meeting ahead of a two-day summit next week to decide whether Britain is allowed to get an Article 50 extension or not.
Britain is still scheduled to leave the EU in two weeks on March 29 following two years of negotiations.
But with no agreement about a plan, the UK could go to a “no deal” Brexit if MPs reject a third meaningful vote next week.