A Man and his Times

ROBERTO FRANKENBERG for TIME

DAMNED IF HE DOES ...: Barroso has been criticized for his attempts at shaking up stagnant European markets

Running the European Union is no task for the faint of heart, especially these days. The constitution has been in limbo since voters nixed it in France and the Netherlands last year. Almost half the E.U.'s 25 member states are flouting Brussels' rules on deficit spending, mostly with impunity. Governments have generally ignored or outright rejected the Commission's recommendations for making Europe "the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world" by 2010. And sometimes, the issues take on a personal edge. When José Manuel Barroso last month became the first European Commission President ever to address the French National...

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