"It is my duty, after almost ten years as Commission President, to share my experience and my thinking on how we can build on what we have achieved so far, and go forward in the future."
In his State of the Union address in 2013, President Barroso announced a contribution to the debate over the future of Europe. This included the question of the approach to further treaty change.
He is now delivering on this promise, and presents a speech on the future of Europe. It is based on his experience and key lessons drawn from heading the European Commission over two mandates. It includes his ideas to foster the political ownership and the popular backing which are needed to keep Europe open, united and strong, preserving its values and society model:
"There is a lack of ownership in European politics, which institutional adjustments by themselves cannot remedy. When democratic decision-makers in the Council or the European Parliament refuse to acknowledge, defend and endorse their common decisions, European legitimacy will always suffer."
The speech also reflects on how the community method and community approach to joint major challenges facing the EU and its member states can be best anchored and deepened in the longer term, perfecting over time a political union.
It is delivered at Humboldt University of Berlin on Thursday 8 May. The debate will continue on 9 May in Florence and in Krakow on 10 May.