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We are all in this together – not as an all-engulfing single entity, but as separate, democratic parts working towards a common goal.

That is one of the clear messages coming from EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso during his ‘state of the union’ speech in the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

“The present European Union must evolve. Let’s not be afraid of the word. We will need to move towards a federation of nation states. This is what we need. Not a superstate. A democratic federation of nation states that can tackle our common problems through the sharing of sovereignity in a way that each country and each citizen are better equipped to control their destiny,” said Barroso during his address.

Barroso also underlined the importance of the single currency, mentioning the “irreversibility of the euro”.

He went on to say the stronger eurozone members have to show their willingness to stick with the euro, and the weaker members will have to show their willingness to reform.

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