The European Union criticized on Monday the decision by some Jewish leaders to boycott an EU meeting of religious officials. The World Jewish Congress announced that its representatives would not attend Monday's meeting because some Muslim participants have made anti-Jewish statements. EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said that the global economic crisis makes now "a time for unity and not for isolation." European Parliament President Hans-Gert Poettering said that "dialogue is now our priority." It was the first time Jewish representatives pulled out of the annual gathering.