(Sir Europe – Strasbourg) – "The European Union is a stronghold to defend the European citizens’ rights and interests". This is the opinion of Joseph Daul, president of the People’s Party group at the European Parliament, in response to the "State of the Union" speech given by the president of the EU Commission, José Manuel Barroso, earlier today. Daul says he "basically agrees" with the picture outlined by Barroso and, like him, he thinks the governments of the member states are to blame for the delays in responding to the crisis and in the fight against unemployment: "Firstly, let them fulfil the commitments they undertook about the long-term budget", he states, just as the EU Assembly decided to stop the negotiations because of the cuts made in the EU finances by the EU Cabinet, which represents the national chancelleries. Daul adds: "the 2014 election will not be about choosing left or right, it will be about those who believe in the European Union and those who don’t". This is echoed by Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the Liberal Democrats: "The European Parliament election will oppose the euro-sceptics to the pro-European forces". And, as to Barroso’s speech, he points out: "There are quite a few things that must be done now. Completing the banking union, creating an integrated euro-zone that with real financial governance, reflecting about widening the European Central Bank’s powers". ” “

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