To avoid “a new Cold War,” the United Nations Secretary-General called for a united Europe. António Guterres also said the EU was too important to fail.

Guterres made the statement upon receiving the Charlemagne Prize – the annual prize which was first awarded in 1949 and is named after the medieval monarch who ruled much of modern-day France, Germany, the Low Countries and Central Europe from the German city of Aachen.

As reported by Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s international broadcaster, Guterres, who is a former prime minister of Portugal, was chosen by the prize committee for his advocacy of cooperation, tolerance, pluralism and multilateral cooperation.

“If you want to avoid a new Cold War, if you want a real multilateral order, then we have to have a united states of Europe as a strong pillar of it,” he said after being presented the medal in Aachen city hall’s ornate Coronation Room.

Guterres added: “The failure of Europe would inevitably be the failure of multilateralism and the failure of a world in which the rule of law can prevail.”