The European Parliament is "totally ridiculous", EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in a heated outburst in Strasbourg on Tuesday.
Mr Juncker was angered by only around 30 MEPs attending a plenary session to discuss the Maltese presidency of the EU.
EU Parliament President Antonio Tajani berated Mr Juncker and asked him to show more respect, adding: "The commission does not control the parliament. It is the parliament that should be controlling the commission."
Mr Juncker responded: "There are only a few members in the parliament to control the commission. You are ridiculous."