In Strasbourg, the European Parliament has re-opened after the summer recess. The citizens of the French city were demonstrating against pension reforms while the assembly heard a “State of the Union” speech promoting economic coordination and solidarity.
In his speech, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said: “Europe must show it is more than 27 different national solutions. We either swim together or sink separately. We’ll only succeed if — whether acting nationally, regionally or locally — we think European.”
Barroso said that his message to all Europeans is: “You can trust the European Union to do what it takes to secure your future.”
The Greens co-president Daniel Cohn-Bendit scoffed at this, saying: “This Commission is the champion of Europe for making fine general declarations, but when there’s a need to point the finger, to highlight a country, name names, identify a government by name, you are the champions of absent season ticket holders: you do not exist!”
Barroso named several core challenges for the EU in the next year: creating jobs, being free, fair and firm with migration and playing a big role worldwide.