As newly appointed Council President Herman van Rompuy settles into his new job, government officials and hundreds of journalists will be left in the dark tomorrow as there will be no place for them at the fancy venue of the informal Council meeting.
Asked to wait until the meeting is over, they are being referred to the Council’s Justus Lipsius building at Schuman whilst the Heads of State will be meeting over lunch in the charming Bibliothèque Solvay, located in the Léopold park right next to the European Parliament.
In organising his first Summit in this way, Mr van Rompuy may be stepping on some toes, and The Lobby is curious to see the various reactions. This more intimate “Summit diplomacy” to which only the Heads of State are invited without their advisors, may well be much more effective for the decision-making process.
Nonetheless, is Mr van Rompuy skating on slippery ice by all too quickly breaking with the old traditions and non-written rules? Fair is fair, we might have expected the haiku writer to come up with something as controversial as this.
One obvious question which remains though is why this honour went to the Bibliothèque Solvay? Are the leaders expected to take inspiration on economic growth and innovation from the assembled bookshelves? What about the Concert Noble? Or the Atomium? Autoworld? Tour & Taxis? Here at Grayling we also have a beautiful meeting room available!