Blessed with offices with a park-view, it has been hard not to notice the veritable explosion that has taken place over the last ten days: spring has finally come to Brussels!
What was grey and brown has once more become green.
And how fitting that greening is such a topical matter in Brussels at the moment.
In a rare display of harmony, Belgium and the European Union seem to keep the same pace with each other.
Unfortunately, the sun does not shine as radiantly on the policy side of things as on Brussels’ trees, quite the contrary; dark clouds are gathering on the horizon.
The first thing that springs to mind are the ongoing negotiations on the CAP reform in both Parliament and Council, where the Commission’s greening proposals have come to form a divide between MEPs and delegations.
While decision-makers in principle welcome the measures, opinions vary on the modalities and character of the Commission’s proposal.
After all, tying 30%of the Direct Payments to farmers for greening measures was bound to cause a stir…
Speaking of stirs, the negotiations on the future EU budget finally seem to have hit a nerve for some Member States. Naturally, we are referring to last week’s GAC meeting ,during which delegations let off some steam concerning spending obligations.
Once again, the green was the main focus of discussions, although a different kind of green: several net-paying Member States demanded the budget be cut by €100 bn. Sometimes too much green makes you see red, says the Lobby.
Surely, the negotiations on the CAP and the budget will be lengthy (did I hear someone say delayed?) and keep on stirring emotions.
In the meantime we will keep enjoying the park view.