Page last updated at 16:44 GMT, Thursday, 3 September 2009 17:44 UK

Barroso in new plea for EU unity

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso
Mr Barroso still faces a fight to secure a second term

The European Commission president has warned that the EU faces "irrelevance" if it fails to act in a united way.

Jose Manuel Barroso's message came in "political guidelines" - his manifesto for a second term as head of the EU's executive arm.

"Europe is facing stark choices... Either we work together to rise to the challenges. Or we condemn ourselves to irrelevance," he told Euro MPs.

The centre-right politician is the only declared candidate for the top EU job.

But some centre-left MEPs have criticised his handling of the economic crisis and have delayed his confirmation by the European Parliament.

Mr Barroso, 53, has the unanimous support of all 27 EU government leaders.

No rival candidate has emerged from the ranks of MEPs so far.

"I will redouble my efforts to make an ambitious Europe happen," said Mr Barroso, a former Portuguese prime minister.

"A Europe that puts people at the heart of the policy agenda and projects European values and interests in the world."

He said stemming the rise in unemployment must remain an EU priority.

"It is too early to withdraw these stimulus and support measures to the economy and the financial sector, but an exit strategy must be prepared," he said.

On trade, he said the EU must take the lead in combating protectionism.

He also called for a thorough overhaul of the EU budget by 2014.

Print Sponsor

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific