Tomorrow at 9am Brussels time, Barroso will make the first European "State of the Union" speech. Expectations on the Euroblogosphere aren't high for the speech, and there seem to be fears that the same sentiment might infect the European Parliament as well. In order for it to be a success, Barroso has to show that he has a vision with substance: people are not going to pay attention just because the speech comes with a "State of the Union" label attached. His vision of his second Commission wasn't exactly inspiring when he was working on his re-election by Parliament, and the Commission hasn't been as visible as Paris or Berlin (or even Van Rompuy) over the crises-ridden last few months. It's hard to see a great performance.
However, Barroso doesn't need to fear damaging his re-election (or appointment) chances, and he needs to assert his and the Commission's position more, so he could be waiting to use this to relaunch his Commission Presidency. Well, maybe.
I would hope to hear a hard-hitting defence of the Roma and their rights, along with outlining plans on the environment, economic regulation and his position on social & structural funds in the up-coming budget battles. Plans to promote debate and citizen-participation in the EU would be good, given that it's one of the biggest weakspots of the EU.
But I'm more likely to be listening out for my "Buzzword Bingo" words. Bloggingportal.eu has come up with the idea of people creating their 10 buzzwords to watch out for during the speech (EU, member states and other institutions are excluded). So here's my list:
4. "leading role".
5. "our European values". (Though it'd be a big plus if he said "the moral authority of Europe"!).
Annoyingly, I won't be able to watch it live, so expect my comments to be late!