Jose Manuel Barroso has called on EU countries to show solidarity in tackling Europe’s economic problems over the next year. “We either swim together, or sink separately”, he said.
The Commission President has been giving his first US-style “state of the union” address to the European Parliament, outlining Europe’s priorities.
He said the recovery was gathering pace but unevenly, and unemployment was still too high. He called for greater use of the internal market and less red tape.
A plan to withdraw allowances from MEPs who didn’t attend was scrapped after several protested. One said it would have given the impression that they were only listening to Barroso because they’d been paid.
Earlier his office rejected criticism that the address was a publicity stunt to beef up Barroso’s image amid dwindling support for the EU.