Mr Prodi, who had two spells in power, condemned the lack of leadership and strategy in Brussels and admitted the Europe he once dreamed of was dead.
His comments came in an interview with Italy’s Quotidiano newspaper in the same week Theresa May laid out her plans for a hard Brexit which would sever all existing ties with the EU including the single market and customs union.
The 77-year-old said: “The EU has no strategies and there is no leader to follow.
“The Europe I dreamed of is dead. But I hope the crisis will wake us up. Now we can only do one thing: pray.”
Mr Prodi said did not have great hopes about the future of the European Union which he said was increasingly divided by national and political interests.
And he said Brexit had accelerated the process of detachment from Brussels.
He told Quotidiano: “I was disappointed by Brexit but not surprised. The new thing is the American encouragement to Brexit.
“It is an unprecedented and inappropriate interference in my opinion. From a political point of view the fact that the future US President supports Brexit says a lot.”
On the future of the EU, Mr Prodi called for “a single strategy”.
He said: ”The real problem is that, once again, there will not be a common policy.
“We would need a real leader who would put himself in other people’s shoes.
“Whoever leads a political coalition and a group of countries must consider the interests of all the members. I am talking about Angela Merkel.”
Romano Prodi, OMRI born 9 August 1939) is an Italian former politician and economist. He twice served as the Prime Minister of Italy, from 17 May 1996 to 21 October 1998 and from 17 May 2006 to 8 May 2008. He was also the tenth President of the European Commission from 1999 to 2004. He is nicknamed Il Professore (The Professor) due to his occupation as professor of Economics at the University of Bologna.
A former professor of economics and international advisor to Goldman Sachs, Prodi ran in 1996 as lead candidate of The Olive Tree coalition, winning the general election and serving as Prime Minister of Italy until 1998. Following the victory of his coalition The Union over the House of Freedoms led by Silvio Berlusconi in the April 2006 Italian elections, Prodi took power again. On 24 January 2008, he lost a vote of confidence in the Senate house, and consequently tendered his resignation as Prime Minister to Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, but continued in office for almost four months for routine business, until early elections were held and a new government was formed.
Up to this time, he has been the only one lead candidate of Italian Centre-left who won elections and managed to form a government without the need of opponents’ parliamentary support.
On 14 October 2007, Prodi became the first President of the Democratic Party upon foundation of the party.
On 12 September 2008, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon selected Prodi as president of the African Union-UN peacekeeping panel. He is currently serving as the UN Special Envoy for the Sahel.