11 december 2013, 11/12/13

Apart from it being an odd date day, today must be the first one in a while that has seen hundreds of thousands of people on the street protesting in favour of the european union. Whilst on western shores the european tide seems to be ebbing ever further away from the demos, to the east it retains a powerful pull. Earlier this year, (1 july 2013, and now we're 28) croatia celebrated becoming the 28th member state of the union and in 3 weeks latvia will become the eurozone's 18th member. This will delight coin collectors, with a whole new set euro set, but leave governance-hawks still waiting for the ecb governing council's rotation scheme to finally kick in. On the streets of kiev, the cries are for a european perspective. Strengthening ukraine's link to brussels has now become the defining political issue on which the government, at an election or before, will be chosen. Catherine ashton, the eu's challenged foreign minister/high-representative, is a hero of the crowd, fresh from being a significant influence in egypt and iran, where the much-discussed "g3", with ashton representing the various eu countries, made a significant appearance. Don't abandon yet the notion it will one day be time for europe.