The fervently pro-EU politician suggested European countries in the future will only be able to exercise self-control through the European Union.
Mr Gabriel claimed even Germany – the EU’s largest and strongest financial contributor – would have to accept more EU rules in the coming years.
He said: “In the world of the 21st Century, Europe will only be able to act on a sovereign basis via the European Union, by winning back sovereignty through the European Union.
“Even Germany, big and strong as it is, in tomorrow’s world will not have a voice by itself. Our children and grandchildren will have the choice of having no voice to be heard or a common European voice.”
He had been speaking at a conference detailing the next seven-year budget of the EU, following speeches by EU Commissioner Jean-Claude Juncker and European Commission budget Gunther Oettinger.
Explaining his vision, Mr Gabriel called for further integration between EU member states to better “defend the interests” of their citizens and further stabilise the European Union.
He said: “There is no loss of sovereignty by being part of the European Union. There may be a loss of sovereignty when it comes to shaping life in Europe if we did not have a European Union and if nation states by themselves had to defend the interests of their population.”
Mr Gabriel’s plans for the future of the European institutions falls in line with the proposals Mr Juncker presented during his State of the Union Speech in September 2017.
The Brussels boss called for EU integration in the face of rising populism after Britain voted to sever ties with the bloc ahead of crunch elections in Italy, Sweden, Hungary and the Czech Republic, where eurosceptic parties are gaining momentum.
In his address, Mr Juncker said sweeping changes to the EU institutions, which would also include electing MEPs on a European basis from 2019, could be achieved without treaty change.
He laid out ambitious plans for measures he said could be achieved…