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Barroso Says EU Economic Recovery Gathering Pace

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (file photo)
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has said that economic recovery is gathering pace in the European Union and growth this year will be higher than initially forecast.

But Barroso, in his first "state of the union" speech before the European Parliament in Strasbourg, said that unemployment is "still much too high" in the EU.

The head of the EU executive said structural reforms must be accelerated in the next 12 months and the 27 countries in the bloc must show solidarity.

Countries in the EU and the euro zone have been struggling through a debt crisis this year.

The latest official forecasts put growth in the EU at 1 percent in 2010 and estimated growth in the 16 countries that use the euro at 0.9 percent this year.

compiled from agency reports