Speaking after Commission President Barroso's first-ever 'State-of-the-Union' address, today in Strasbourg, UKIP MEP Nigel Farage
told Mr Barroso there's one fundamental difference between him and US President Obama: "He, of course, is elected and you are not."
Whereas 48 million people had watched Obama's 'State of the Union' speech, Mr Farage told the Commission President, "here in the European Parliament we even have to beg to get the MEPs to turn up to listen to you," referring to the Parliament's president Jerzy Buzek's desperate efforts
to ensure MEPs attended today's debate.
Referring to the recent EuroBarometer poll
, Mr Farage said this tells us the true state of the Union: "It tells us that in the last six months there has been a dramatic drop in confidence in people's belief, even in belonging to the Union. A 10% drop in Germany; a 17% drop in Greece; a 9% drop in Portugal, and less than half of EU citizens think that being a member of the club is worth it."
"That, Mr Barroso, is hardly an endorsement of success or belief, and yet for most people today there seems to be this great self-satisfaction. Well, don't be too satisfied because the people have worked it out for themselves - the real state of the Union is that it is increasingly loathed and despised."
Mr Farage said that some were claiming this is because the people want 'more Europe'.
"Mr Verhofstadt said people want more common policies," he said, amid interruptions by the ALDE President and former Belgian prime minister, Guy Verhofstadt MEP. "The evidence is the more common policies there are, the less people like it," Mr Farage pointed out.
"People have recognised the devastation of the Common Fisheries Policy. They've recognised the inequality of the Common Agricultural Policy; the lost business opportunities of the Common Commercial Policy, and of course now the big one: the common currency, this ill-conceived political attempt to force people into a monetary union without ever asking any of them whether they wanted to be there."
Mr Farage said this monetary system suits neither Germany nor Greece, which "is now trapped inside an economic prison."
"And you can pretend the crisis has gone away but it hasn't because the bond spreads are now 8% on five- and ten-year bonds.
"You can smile, Mr Schulz, but you know nothing of financial markets and how these things work," Mr Farage told the Socialist group President. "And in your own country, well, why should the German taxpayer pick up the bill?"
"This form of government isn't working and yet what we heard today is we're going to have a common defence policy and a common foreign policy."
"We were told [the Lisbon treaty] would simplify everything, that we'd know where we stand. Well we don't," he said.
"Who is in charge of this EU? Is it you, Mr Barroso? Is it my old friend Herman van Rompuy? Is it the Belgian Presidency [of the EU Council]?
"Now that really is good stuff, isn't it? You still can't form a government in your own country and yet you're presidents of the European Union. I mean, whichever way you look at it, the whole thing is a bit of a dog's dinner isn't it?
"The EU has never had so much power and yet it has never been so unpopular. But not satisfied with the €2.4 billion a year that is now being spent on EU propaganda, you want the overall budget to increase by 6% and, personally, you're to have a full time TV crew, we understand, that traipse around with you; new press officers, new webmasters. You're not analysing why this is going wrong, Mr Barroso, you simply don't get it."
In a second intervention during the 'State of the Union' debate, Mr Farage referred to the Roma issue in France, which he said is "caused directly by failing European Union policies."
Mr Farage said it was a "huge mistake" to allow Bulgaria and Romania into European Union whilst "millions of Roma in those countries being heavily discriminated against.
"It is no wonder that now they're part of the Union, they're seeking to move elsewhere."
"And this goes with everything, doesn't it?" Mr Farage said in conclusion.
"Every single one of these policies fails, leads to a problem - whether it's this, whether it's the euro - and all the way through we see this fanatical political ambition to create the 'United States of Europe' regardless of the consequences, and at no time has any of this been endorsed by the voting public.
"That, Mr Barroso, is the true state of the Union."