Reuniting Europe

Council President Herman Van Rompuy referred to it yesterday at the EU summit. Here is a photo and a link to the Council webpage.

I’m not sure what to think about it. Basically it respects the rule that no building at Schuman square should be higher than the other, or rather, higher than the oldest EU building, the Berlaymont. The Berlaymont is star shaped, the present Council building is square, and the AXA building to host the European External Action Service is a triangle with a circle in the middle (I’ve seen it from an airplane.)

The new building is a cube with the sphere in the middle.

Is this all a way of saying that the EU is searching for the “quadrature du cercle”? Maybe that’s the way people will call it, as they call the Brussels main parliament building le Caprice des Dieux?

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  1. The way of brushing away criticism was definitely a big fail: “An aide to Van Rompuy was unapologetic. ‘This was decided years ago, before the crisis. It will cost more now to cancel than to complete. It’s good value.'”
    National politicians would not dare show such an arrogance towards their citizens. Grey Brussels bureaucracy at its best. Explaining decisions to the citizens? Let others do the job.

  2. Airy pregnant building ready to give birth…

    Given the wish by the Council to appear transparent and open, shifting the visual emphasis from the current massive granite square to something more airy sounds like a good idea. Just like the EP Brussels Parliament does symbolize EU democracy.

    But how about security? We have not had a major attack in the EU area. Yet. I bet that, in a few years, EU leaders will be reluctant to meet in a building protected mainly by… glass.

    Let’s make the best of a decision already taken:
    to me, the belly-like Europa building looks like a pregnant woman. Let’s hope laborious Council meetings there will give birth to policies in tune with the aspiration of the parents: the people of Europe.

    Christophe Leclercq

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