The European Union's Olli Rehn has said that he thinks there should be a "well informed and substantive debate" about whether the EU is good for the UK.
Rehn said that he was aware that there is growing support for a referendum in the UK, and that he believes that it would be better for the UK to seek to reform the EU, rather than to attempt to repatriate powers.
On the continuing economic weakness in Europe, Rehn said that there is still a serious bottleneck in the form of tight lending policies, especially in southern Europe.
Rehn cited political instability and reform fatigue as risks to the recovery of EU member states. He recognised that the Eurocrisis has cast a "long shadow in terms of social and human consequences".