The Belgian MEP sparked a backlash on Twitter after he took aim at Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg after he cooled plans for a European military force. The Nato chief said he supported European Union’s plans to build a common defence policy, but he warned against any rapid reaction force.
Responding to an article on Twitter, Mr Verhoftadt disagreed with the Nato chief and said an EU army would help to increase cooperation with alliance.
The exchange prompted a huge response on the platform with many users condemning Mr Verhofstadt’s argument.
One user wrote: “Give it up Guy, Europe will never be a united defence force, too many different nations with opposing and political differences.”
A second added: “No, Verhofstadt. EU is union of independent states not European States and so far nothing going change that. Nato is better solution by far.”
A third commented: “You are NOT right about this. Nato has served Europe well since its foundation. The sheer thought of VDL being in charge of an army fills one with terror”
A fourth added: “Not sure many soldiers would be keen on risking their lives for the EU. Defending their country, for sure.”
Meanwhile, a fifth said: “No, Verhofstadt, EU military will introduce new duplications and waste money.”
The Nato chief made an intervention as EU officials are set to put forward proposals for a combined military force.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is made up of 30 independent countries – including the UK, US, France and Germany.
The organisation was plunged into crisis during the reign of US President Donald Trump, who threatened to pull out of the pact unless member states increased their funding.
European Nato members set a spending target on defence of two percent of GDP by 2024 – the former US President had called for it to be increased to four percent.
The latest G7 summit was held in Cornwall in June and Joe Biden reaffirmed commitment to the alliance.