The European Union (EU) lacks unity and faces the danger of an unprecedented rise of "galloping populism," the head of the European Commission said on Wednesday.
Delivering his annual "State of the Union" address, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that there was still "a lack of union" in the EU and that "this has something to do with the crisis in the EU."
"There are too many areas where the scope in which we cooperate together is too small and national interests are brought to the fore. European integration cannot be left or bow to the interests of individual members states," he said.
Juncker said that the EU did not want to undermine national states but wanted a "better Europe" and "more solidarity."
"There are splits out there and fragmentation exits...and that is leaving scope for galloping populism – and that does not solve problems, it creates them and we need to be aware of that and protect ourselves against it," he warned.
"It's high time we take a clear look at the situation, unemployment continues to be too high in Europe and social injustice continues and that's why we have to very quickly get to work on the basis of social fairness and equity," he said.