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EU commission chief welcomes Tymoshenko's release

EU Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso wrote of Yulia Tymoshenko's release from prison in Ukraine:

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Welcome release of Tymoschenko. Independent justice system essential for a democratic Ukraine. /JMB

Latest updates: Yulia Tymoshenko released from prison in Ukraine

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EU president rejects migration cap from member states

The president of the European Union Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso.
The president of the European Union Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso. Credit: Kerim Okten/PA Wire

The president of the European Commission has flatly rejected any prospect of member states capping migration from fellow EU-member countries.

Jose Manuel Barroso said freedom of movement for labour was a "fundamental principle" of the EU single market, with a cap on immigration being a "complete contradiction" to that principle.

Prime Minister David Cameron had pledged to renegotiate EU rules and hold an in-out referendum on membership by 2017, if he is still Prime Minister. He had signalled an aim to restrict access to UK jobs and welfare when less-wealthy countries join the union.

EU chief slams 'populist rhetoric' on migrants

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has accused those seeking new limits to migration between EU member states of "chauvinism" and "scaremongering".

Mr Barroso did not mention any countries by name, but his comments are likely to be seen as a rebuke to the UK after Prime Minister David Cameron's repeated warnings about migrants from eastern Europe coming to Britain to claim welfare.

People walked towards a border control checkpoint at an airport.
Jose Manuel Barroso said free movement for EU workers was a fundamental principle of the union. Credit: PA Wire

Speaking to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Mr Barroso issued a strong defence of free movement for EU workers, and warned the issue was "in danger of being subject to all kinds of populist rhetoric rather than objective assessment".

Mr Barroso appealed: "Let us work together in a constructive and objective fashion. Let's not use stereotypes and myths. Let's have a rational and reasonable debate. Let us not give in to scaremongering and obfuscation."

EU chief: Principle of free movement 'must be upheld'

The free movement of European citizens is a fundamental principle which must be upheld, the President of the European Commission has warned David Cameron.

Jose Manuel Barroso said he underlined this belief to David Cameron during a telephone conversation last night where Mr Cameron informed him of his plans for a crackdown on new EU arrivals claiming benefits.

Responding to a question from ITV News Europe Correspondent Emma Murphy, Mr Barroso said free movement was "one of the most valued" principles by European Union citizens.

The 10-minute call between the pair was described as "very cordial".

Read: PM: Barroso should start 'respecting' Conservatives

PM: Barroso should start 'respecting' Conservatives

David Cameron has said Jose Manuel Barroso should start "respecting" the Conservative Party instead of "trying to lecture them" in response to Mr Barroso's claims that the Tories were heading for defeat at the hands of Ukip in next year's European elections.

The European Commission President yesterday warned that the increasingly anti-European stance adopted by the Conservative party could help Nigel Farage's Ukip beat them in the May 2014 polls.

"The Barroso thing did annoy me because, frankly, his job is to serve the members of the European Union and the British Conservatives in the European Parliament are an important party," Mr Cameron said on LBC.

Prime Minister David Cameron and the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso Credit: PA Wire

"They are the governing party of the United Kingdom and he should be respecting their views rather than trying to lecture them. They've got an important contribution to make and I think he got it wrong, and I'll tell him that."

The Prime Minister revealed that the pair have had "some pretty robust exchanges" in the past, and suspected the conversation about Mr Barroso's comment would be one of them.

Read: EU chief: Hostility to Europe threatens a return to 'war'

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EU chief: Hostility to Europe threatens a return to 'war'

Continued hostility to the European Union could put years of peace in Europe at risk, according to the President of the European Commission.

In his State of the Union speech, Jose Manuel Barroso hailed European integration as "the valid answer" to the wars of the 20th century:

"Let me say this to all those who rejoice in Europe's difficulties and who want to roll back our integration and go back to isolation: the pre-integrated Europe of the divisions, the war, the trenches, is not what people desire and deserve.

President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Archive/

"The European continent has never in its history known such a long period of peace as since the creation of the European Community. It is our duty to preserve it and deepen it."

Mr Barrasso also warned that the increasingly anti-European stance adopted by the Conservative party could help Nigel Farage's Ukip beat them in the May 2014 polls as voters will have to choose between "the original and the copy" and "prefer the original".

Barroso: Thatcher 'circumspect yet engaged player in EU'

Let me, on behalf of myself and the European Commission, say that I was deeply saddened to hear the news of the death of Baroness Thatcher.

She was without doubt a great stateswoman, the first female Prime Minister of her country, and a circumspect yet engaged player in the European Union.

She will be remembered for both her contributions to and her reserves about our common project.

She signed the Single European Act and helped bring about the Single Market.

She was a leading player in bringing into the European family the Central and Eastern European countries which were formerly behind the Iron Curtain.

As you remember, Britain under Mrs Thatcher's leadership was very supportive of the enlargement of the European Union.

Her legacy has done much to shape the United Kingdom as we know it today, including the special role of the United Kingdom in the European Union that endures to this day.

I would like to convey my deepest regrets to the Government and people of the United Kingdom.

– European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso

Barroso: 'Deep shock and horror' at shooting

The EU Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso has tweeted his "deep shock and horror" at the Connecticut school shooting:

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It is with deep shock and horror that I learned this evening of the tragic fatalities in the shooting in Connecticut (USA) /JMB #CTshooting

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On behalf @eu_commission & my own behalf, I express my sincere condolences to families of victims of this terrible tragedy /JMB #CTshooting

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