Would the last commissioner to leave please turn out the lights? That’s a gross exaggeration of course, but nevertheless, news of two commissioners’ getting more involved in “the countries they know best”, as the euro-euphemism goes, gave a certain fin de regime feel on Monday halfway through the Commission’s five-year term.
Louis Michel, the development commissioner, is taking a month’s unpaid leave in May and June to stand for election in Belgium. Well, not quite: he is campaigning, running last on the list of his French-speaking Liberal party for the Senate, doubtless requiring a 50 per cent swing or something to be elected.
Margot Wallstrom, the communications commissioner, has agreed to run a strategy group for Sweden’s opposition party on Europe. It emerged yesterday that she had forgotten to tell her boss, Jose Manuel Barroso.