Capital Brussels: What kind of political actor will the Lisbon EU be?
Despite all the changes introduced in the EU over the last year – including the appointment of President Van Rompuy, the formation of the EU’s external action service with Baroness Ashton as ‘Minister’ of foreign affairs, the increased powers (both formal and informal) of the Parliament and the multiplication of EU agencies – and contrary to expectations, 2009 will not be remembered as the year in which ‘Brussels’ fell apart. Instead, according to this analysis of the current and prospective situation, it seems to have emerged more or less as a normal European capital with different institutions playing their expected roles in ways similar to that observed in ‘normal’ capitals.
Piotr Maciej Kaczyński is a Research Fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies based in Brussels. Adriaan Schout is Director of EU Studies at the Netherlands Institute of International Relations (‘Clingendael’) in The Hague.