European Commission President José Manuel Barroso’s State of the Union speech before the European Parliament today gave a strong sense of history in the making. As EESC President Staffan Nilsson declared in a supportive reaction, ‘what was inevitable has now been said: for the future of the EU, we must not be afraid to speak of a federation of nation-states and we must continue to deepen cooperation. Let us build it together and have the courage to turn a challenge into an opportunity.’ I have always felt myself privileged to live through so many historical developments, sometimes with a ringside seat. I joined the EU institutions as the Single European Act was being implemented. Since then my generation have seen the single market created, successive waves of enlargement, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War, the Maastricht Treaty’s establishment of the economic and monetary union process, the Schengen Agreement, the Lisbon Treaty’s creation of a European External Action Service and the European Parliament’s coming of age as a twin arm of the EU’s legislative and budgetary authority, to name but some of the more salient developments. Now, as if that were not already extraordinarily rapid progress in a period of less than thirty years, fiscal union and federation may be just around the corner. I think back to my thoughts in Washington at the FDR memorial (Barroso’s ‘Decisive Deal’ is surely close to FDR’s ‘New Deal’) and Habermas’s analysis  and see that the current crisis may well have encouraged the sense of a common destiny that Habermas wrote about.