After 100 days in office, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has let it be known that he wants to be judged by actions rather than intentions.

He is setting a tough standard for himself. Because on his own admission, in a speech delivered on this 100-days anniversary, his principal claims so far focus on what are intentions rather than actions - and not always very clear intentions, at that.

At the top of his list of achievements since he took over, he cited his fixing of "strategic objectives" of prosperity, solidarity and security for the Union over the next five years - a bold if unremarkable claim, but, by definition, an as yet unattained intention.

He claimed to have proposed a refocusing of the Lisbon agenda on growth and jobs - yet he simultaneously promised not to neglect social inclusion or the fight against poverty. The inevitable confusion is compounded by his description of the Social Agenda he launched last month as a bid to both "maintain and reform" the European social model - a concept that can be sustained only as long as it remains imprecisely defined (as the Social Agenda released last month certainly is).

Similarly, he cited the start he has made to a review of the EU approach to sustainable development - but...

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