With the eurozone still an economic mess, the rise of anti-EU parties and the UK on the way out, the European Union may be in trouble.

So, with populist leaders expressing disdain for the EU, Brexit and an assertive Russia, what does the future hold for the European Union?

Guy Verhofstadt, a member of the European Parliament and its chief negotiator for Brexit, in addition to being the former prime minister of Belgium, says he is optimistic about the future of the EU, but that it faces an "existential threat".

"We are squeezed, for the moment, between an American president - a populist - saying, ‘Oh, I believe in the further disintegration of the European Union’," says Verhofstadt, "and on the other hand, an autocrat - Putin - who wants to destroy the European Union."

Faced with these threats, the EU must "get its act together" and become a "real union", or else disappear, says Verhofstadt.

"People need a vision, a project, that shows them how we can escape the challenges that they are facing: Migration flows, economic fallout, and so on," says Verhofstadt. "You have to recognise weaknesses of the current European Union before you can launch a new vision for the future."

"I believe we can get our act together, and then we can build up a European Union that can be an example of a supernational organisation worldwide."

MEP and lead Brexit negotiator for the EP, Guy Verhofstadt, discusses the future of the European Union.

For more from this interview, click here.

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Source: Al Jazeera News