One of the trickier image problems for the people who run the European Union is that the bloc’s founding, over-arching aim has been so comprehensively achieved that they struggle to remind the European on the street what the EU is for.
Even the most casual observer will have observed that, since the supra-national alliances from which the EU would germinate began to form in the 1950s, their members have not fought wars against one another.
But then, as Albert Camus, that early investigator of a pan-European identity, observed, in the end you get used to everything, and Brussels has had to fill its daily bulletins with something other than: "Europe continues not to bomb itself."
Instead, the European Commission’s latest offering is titled: "What did the EU do for me in 2006," a list a the 10 earth-moving changes the club has wrought in the lives of its 500m or so citizens this year, including cheaper mobile phone calls, better labelling on food and new chemical regulations.
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