9 february 2013, it’s a boy !

I am impressed. After a couple of years or so of process and negotiation, which is the way of these things, 27 different countries have agreed a budget for a 28th which is the sum of them (see the state we're in) for the next seven years. Nor is it small, coming in at just under 1 trillion euros, or around 1% of the budget, about what the uk spends on culture, for example. Even more impressive, they have collectively taken into account the public opinion of the woman on the clapham omnibus who doesn't know whether or not all this austerity is right, but thinks that if every other government in europe is cutting expenditure, so should the eu. And a little bit more prioritisation never did any harm to a system. It's also very positive in the ongoing battle for the eu to be seen as a "good thing". This happy compromise came about as it spoke to a varied coalition of those that want to "reform" the eu, who come in many varieties, those who just want to trim it, and those who actually want "more europe" but would like it to be some combination of leaner and, well, more austere. And so now to the real work of what the money is actually going to be spent on. It's also a girl, or it was 28 years ago (ahem) when my other half was born; happy birthday !