There was a time when the spring European Council was dedicated to questions of economic reform – the annual paying of homage to the Lisbon agenda, and its vainglorious targets for making the EU the top performing economic bloc in the world.
Not any more. This year’s summit on March 8-9 will see Europe’s leaders focussing instead on energy policy and – most important of all – climate change. I doubt if their discussions on the Lisbon agenda will last more than ten minutes, if that.
I just wonder whether we are in a classic "top of the cycle" moment, when Europe lulls itself into the dangerous view that the reforms are paying off because the economy is working well.