“[The] EU has changed in a direction which we don't like because we see Europe as an alignment of national states and not a federal union,” Gauland stated.
Pointing to the example of the current standoff between Brussels and Warsaw over concerns for the rule of law in Poland following amendments to the country's constitutional court, Gauland added: “[The] EU has become undemocratic. It tries to make rules for all sorts of problems… I can't see why it is necessary to interfere into Polish internal policy.”
In the wake of the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union, there have been calls from Eurosceptic political parties in several member-states, including the AfD, to hold national referendums similar to the one held in the United Kingdom on June 23.
According to many opinion polls, AfD, established just three years ago, is now the third-most popular political force in Germany with some 15 percent of national support. The party is already has seats in eight of the sixteen local parliaments and hopes to enter the federal parliament following the 2017 elections.
Last week, the presidential candidate in neighboring Austria Norbert Hofer from the right-wing Freedom Party suggested that the European Union should return to being mostly an economic union, rather than a political union.
"Yes, he is right; we should go back to the beginning of the EU, which was an economic union, a free trade organization. It had more or less common economic policy, but not common political or military policy," the AfD vice-chairman said when asked whether he agrees with Hofer's thoughts on the future direction of the bloc.
According to a post-Brexit survey by the polling institution Emnid for the N24 news channel, around 62 percent of Germans believe that the country should take some of its powers back from Brussels, although the overwhelming majority, or 75 percent, still want to remain in the union.