Tag Archives: EU

EU Summit in a barn

That’s how I felt this BBC line read: “EU leaders to meet in old library”. OK, it is a 100 years old but so what? Most European parliament buildings are way older and not all of them are this beautifully surrounded by a park.

It’s not often that I defend Brussels’ architecture but the Bibliothèque Solvay is kind of special. First, it never was a bibliothèque (library), second, it feels and looks like Art Nouveau even though it isn’t and third, one of the world’s most famous physics conferences took place exactly here.

And if you still don’t believe me that it is not only a very symbolic but also worthwhile venue for a conference, then please check the virtual visit.

I wish the BBC could at least mention these details instead of having Van Rompuy looking like a weirdo hosting a EU summit in a barn. C’est quand même pas si difficile, non?


How to fail expectations when there aren’t any

Gender balance: √
Big/small country balance: √
Left/right party balance: √
East/west country balance: ≠

3 out of 4; not bad for the first time.

On a more serious note: there was more than one article today on how much it speaks for European affairs to vote two ‘faceless’ people on top – Herman van Rompuy as EU President and Catherine Ashton as high representative – and how bad of an idea it was to get a Belgian.

First of all, that van Rompuy and Ashton are not much known outside their countries or Brussels doesn’t mean they’re not good at what they are doing. It speaks more for the linguistic media divide in Europe. There aren’t many qualified – let say – Finish, Polish, Greek, Austrian, Irish, Danish or Slovene politicians coming to my mind like this; and I’m following EU affairs.

Second, I hope they will know how to use to their advantages the fact that the position they are going to take isn’t defined yet and that, anyway, nobody is expecting them to do anything particularly useful or worth remembering. Being able to get a job done free from overwhelming expectations is something a certain guy on the other side of the Atlantic might be envying those newcomers for.

Last but not least; I don’t know what better qualification there could be for a top EU position than a successful experience in managing Belgian politics, its linguistic, social, economic and other ‘vanity’ mess issues.

Regarding my opinion on Tony Blair and how relieved I am that he did not make it, it couldn’t be expressed any better than Korie already did.

Catch the irony

“New EU rules for slaughtering animals will improve standards on stunning and killing methods, and require slaughterhouses to appoint someone responsible for animal welfare.”*

Coming soon:

  • A sexual health care advisor in the Vatican
  • An appointee for freedom issues in prisons
  • Life aid classes for serial killers
* The original article was in the European Voice on June 18, but is not accessible online.

Votez pour

Le Worst EU lobbying award 2008.

Very prestigious prize to put in the Wandschrank. Just like the golden raspberry but with some nice EU-BXL-groupe d’intérêt mix. It’s a pity that none of the winners is going to pick his prize up.


Very nice and a tiny bit mean article about English as increasingly important EU language in the European Voice which is not available online, unfortunately. The article comments ironically on the fact that the recently introduced Irish language is hardly ever used at the European Parliament, not even by the Irish. The point is that some of the MEP do not speak Gaeilge very well or that they can “get across the most persuasive points” better in English; followed by the sentence: Tell that to the French.

Vu leur accent, je suis pas sûre que ça soit une bonne idée…