US style fails in EU: Barroso meek 'state of union' speech

Article published on Sept. 8, 2010
Article published on Sept. 8, 2010
The EU commission president made his 'comeback' speech to the EU parliament on 7 September - but the German, Czech and Slovenian press have much to lament. Press review

'Lacks talent to speak to citizens directly' - Financial Times Deutschland, Germany 

The liberal daily criticises EU commission president José Manuel Barroso's state of the European union address as distant from citizens' interests and inconsistent: ‘In his speech Barroso demanded respect for human rights to great applause - but he fell short of mentioning Sarkozy's mass deportations of Romanian EU citizens. At the same time he lacks the talent to speak to citizens directly. Barroso's speech was directed at the MEPs - he talked about the citizens, not to them. Instead he reconfirmed the prejudice that what Europe really wants is more power and money. He should also have made suggestions on how to save money, and explained how the union's money can be put to efficient use - be it with agricultural aid running into the billions, structural aid or through the 36 EU agencies dispersed across Europe. The opportunity to do this will come up this autumn when his commission presents its budget for the coming years. Now that would be a 'state of the union' address worthy of the name’

Read more from Financial Times Deutschland

‘Where were Van Rompuy and Ashton?’ - Hospodářské noviny, Czech Republic 

EU commission president José Manuel Barroso's speech before the European parliament was apparently meant to resemble the US-style state of the union addresses but it turned out to be a flop, writes the business paper: ‘Barroso tried to secure a full parliament for himself by threatening the MPs with penalties for absence. Only after the parliamentary party bosses put him under severe pressure was this threat dropped. Barroso had hoped yesterday's speech would help him in his covert contest with others to become the 'face of Europe'. It's remarkable, however, that neither 'European president' Herman Van Rompuy nor the 'European foreign minister' Catherine Ashton were present in Strasbourg. Obama's stance on the EU is best illustrated by the fact that if they want to meet up with the US president Barroso and Van Rompuy will have to travel to the Nato summit in Lisbon in November’ (» Adam Černý)

Read the full post ‘Barroso chtěl napodobit Obamu. Marně’ on Hospodářské noviny

‘MEPs can no longer sit back’ - Delo, Slovenia 

Members of the EU parliament have criticised commission president José Manuel Barroso among other things for his silence on the deportations of Roma from France. The daily joins in the critique, but points out that the MEPs also share responsibility for the state of the EU: ‘With the Lisbon treaty the European parliament has become more involved in the decision-making mechanism. Together with the council of the European union it now decides on almost 90% of European legislation. For that reason the MEPs can no longer just sit back and voice criticism, regardless of how justified it is. They also bear their share of responsibility for the state of the union. For that reason the address on the state of the EU which the commission president will give in a year's time will depend to a large extent on the role and involvement of the MEP in the decision-making process’ (» Bozo Masanovic )

Read the full post ‘Od kritik k (so)odgovornosti‘ on Delo

28 countries, 300 medias, 1 press review on exclusively courtesy of the euro|topics team

Images: Barroso main (cc) EP; Roma (cc) Philippe Leroyer/ both courtesy of Flickr; video: ©EUX.TV/ euractiv