Juncker said he was opting for French because “slowly but surely English is losing importance in Europe and France has elections this Sunday and I want the French people to understand what I am saying about the importance of the EU.”

The Commission president tackled the row that erupted over a private meeting he had with U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May last week. Following the meeting Juncker reportedly said: “I leave Downing Street 10 times more skeptical than I was before.” May gave a speech on the steps of Downing Street on Thursday in which she said some in Europe were trying influence the British election.

In Florence, Juncker said, “[Brexit] is no small event. Of course we will negotiate with our British friends in full transparency. But there should be no doubt whatsoever about the idea that it is the EU that is abandoning the U.K. It is the opposite in fact. It is the U.K. that is abandoning the EU.”

Source: Jean-Claude Juncker: ‘English is losing importance’

I find this highly surprising as English is the only unifying language in the EU. Globally no-one speaks French, so using French is sending a message to only a very small part of the EU population. Are they somehow better? If it had been about the coming French presidential elections I could have understood, but combined with a comment about English losing importance I am confused. Is this fake news?