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from Global News Journal:

EU delivers its own “State of the Union” address

The European Union talks frequently about wanting to be a bigger player in the world, about making its political influence match its economic weight and the need to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the United States.

And at least in one respect it can now say it's America's equal -- both have a State of the Union address.

Jose Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission, delivered his inaugural State of the Union speech to the European Parliament on Tuesday, a sweeping assessment of where the bloc of 27 countries stands and what it needs to do to be better in the future, tapping a similar vein to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address to Congress in January.

But beyond the matching titles, and some common themes, there were few similarities, at least from a rhetorical point of view.

from Global News Journal:

EU gets new Commission, but little to cheer yet

There was more a sense of relief than joy when the European Union finally got its new executive on Tuesday. These are difficult times for the EU and there is little to celebrate.

The new European Commission is taking office in a tough economic climate, with the 16-country euro zone facing its hardest test since the single currency came into being 11 years ago.