With all the talk about the new EU Presidency, The Lobby feels that the official kick-off to the Swedes’ term in charge will be this weekend in Brussels with the Swedish Presidency football tournament. This year’s event brings together more than 16 Member State teams and much of the EU affairs community.

Held at Stade des Trois Tilleuls in Boitsfort on June 27-28 and July 4-5, it will mark the outgoing Czech and incoming Swedish Presidency. Officials, lobbyists, journalists, stagiaires, and Commissioners (yes, you read that correctly), will be busy kicking each other…sorry, playing the beautiful game.

In keeping with last year’s Slovenian Presidency tournament, The Lobby will be there to demonstrate its considerable footballing ability. Players to watch this year include Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn, playing for the Finns, together with fans’ favourites Ilja Lorenzo Volpi for the Italians and Michael Brown for the Brits. Unfortunately, we have been informed that the exchange of business cards or any other lobbying activities are not permitted in the penalty box during corner kicks.

A swimming pool and a bar/small restaurant will also be open during the whole tournament to cater for non-footballers. So if you have no weekend plans you could do worse than pop down to Boitsforts to cheer on your national team, enjoy a cold refreshment, and soak up a pretty cool atmosphere.

– Ilja and Michael

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