At the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House, as it likes to be called) in St James's Square today, José Manuel Barroso gave his keynote speech as President of the European Commission.
He outlined that the EU - and more generally Europe - needs a new raison d'etre. Whereas peace was the guiding principle of the original founders - achieved through combining the coal and steel industries of France and Germany to economically prevent war - this needs now supplementing with a new ambitious goal for the 21st century, said Barroso. That goal, simply put, is to enable Europe to prosper in a globalized world.
It was a powerful, timely speech, delivered with more panache than you might expect.
Transcript from 'Hugo Young Lecture - Seeing through the Hallucinations: Britain and Europe in the 21st century' available free at the Liberal Democrat European Group. Other info at the Chatham House website.