Rome: European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker took a swipe at Britain by stating that "English is losing importance in Europe" amid an ongoing Brexit row.
Juncker made the comments at a conference in Florence, Italy, on Thursday as he prepared to give a speech, which he said would be better given in French instead.
He said: "Slowly but surely English is losing importance in Europe and also because France has an election".
He also accused Britain of "abandoning" the EU amid tensions with the UK government over looming Brexit negotiations, The Telegraph reported.
"We will negotiate fairly with our British friends, but let's not forget that it is not the EU that is abandoning the UK -- it is the UK that's abandoning the EU, and that makes a difference."
Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, on Thursday warned British Prime Minister Theresa May and Juncker that Brexit negotiations could become "impossible" if they become "emotional".
However despite the call for calm, Juncker told the conference that Brexit is a "tragedy".
On Wednesday, May launched a blistering attack on the EU for trying to interfere in the election and "run us over" in Brexit talks.
Tusk warned that Brexit negotiations risk becoming "impossible" as he called for "discretion, moderation and mutual respect".