European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso on Wednesday used his fourth-ever State of the Union speech to attack his Eurosceptic critics.
Ahead of next May’s European elections, he told MEPs they must make the case for a stronger European Union, stressing its importance in keeping peace on the continent.
“The elections will not be about the European Parliament nor will they be about the Commission about the Council, about this or that personality,” Barroso told lawmakers. “The elections will be about Europe.”
“Let’s not forget that one hundred years ago Europe was sleepwalking into the catastrophe of the war of 1914. Next year, in 2014, I hope Europe will be walking out of the crisis more united stronger and open.”
Barroso’s address could be his last as Commission president. A new name will be put forward to take over from the EU executive after the European elections in May.