In today's State of the Union debate in Strasbourg, Guy Verhofstadt welcomed President Barroso's passionate defence of the European Union and the central role of the Commission in proposing common solutions to the current crisis.
""We stand in the eye of a financial storm. Banks have lost trust in each other, stock markets are at a 4-year low, growth prospects are anemic and the spreads on government bonds in the eurozone are increasing by the day. Only courage, solidarity and leadership will provide a route out of the current crisis. "
"The President of the European Commission today showed a strong commitment to the European Parliament that he believes in a united and effective Union as the best response to the economic and financial crisis spreading across the continent. He now needs to give the same unequivocal message to the European Council due to meet in Brussels next month, repeating his belief, that we share, that the intergovernmental method, dependent on unanimity, is killing Europe and will be its downfall."
"It is not out of any desire for power for its own sake that the European Commission should be given additional competences but out of necessity for the interests of a wide and diverse Union to be upheld by a body acting as the guardian of the collective interest - a role reserved for the Commission under the Treaties since the beginning. If the Commission does not use its right of initiative, the Member States will seize it back."
"Concretely, Barroso committed the Commission to shortly present proposals for common eurobonds, for the common external representation of the euro and for a framework for economic governance beyond the 6-pack. They are urgently needed and we eagerly await the formal tabling of these measures very shortly in the coming weeks, as well as proposals on recapitalising Europe's banks and appointing a senior member of the Commission to act as Europe's finance minister"."