A top official in the European Commission has declared that the EU superstate is potentially facing its demise as nationalist-populist movements ascend to power across the continent.
Budget Commissioner Günther Oettinger issued the warning during an address at an event in Brussels on Tuesday, according to Politico.
"In my view, the project is in mortal danger," Oettinger said. "Some within Europe want to weaken it or even destroy it — Poland, Hungary, Romania, the government of Italy."
Oettinger, who belongs to German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union party, also cited outside economic pressure from Russia, Turkey, and the "clever Chinese" as critical issues facing the bloc.
Support for the Union does seem to be fracturing, as even its most prominent proponents are facing diminishing popularity, including Chancellor Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, and UK Prime Minister Theresa May.
In Germany, Merkel struggled to cobble together a governing coalition after last year's elections and barely survived a recent coup within her government, and is now facing a new crisis as anti-mass migration protests rage in Chemnitz and other German cities.
The EU could be dealt another heavy blow when Swedes head to the polls on September 9th, where the euroskeptic Sweden Democrats are expected to garner huge support while the governing Social Democratic Party potentially faces its worst showing in 100 years.
Professor Matthew Goodwin, a Senior Fellow at Chatham House, examined the broad implications of the Swedish elections as they reflect the explosion of national populism in a lengthy, detailed Twitter thread on Tuesday.
"Take a look around now – Brexit, Wilders, Alternative for Germany – and you get a sense not only of how many observers in the 1990s 'end of history' zeitgeist underestimated nationalism but also how quickly (radical) political change can occur," Goodwin wrote. "It's not that national populism reflects an abandonment of democracy. It reflects the fact that people want a different conception of democracy. One where 'the people' get 'more voice' while 'elites' get less. This is a legitimate request."
(PHOTO: Paul Mansfield / Getty)