A future Mall for Brussels?

Whilst on the civic architecture theme, we are all familiar with the images of America’s new Presidents taking the oath high up on the Capitol’s west front, with the crowds and the flags stretching down Capitol Hill and away along the Mall. It hasn’t always been like that. Before Ronald Reagan’s 1981 inauguration, the ceremony took place on the Capitol’s other side, in the East Portico. But now the ceremony, together with the parade down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House, looks as if it’s always been that way. A German colleague, a very high up in one of the EU’s institutions, once speculated that the place and rue du Luxembourg could one day serve as an equivalent in Brussels to Washington’s Mall. He had his tongue ever so slightly in his cheek, but you can see what he means. The President of such a future European ‘Union’ could address the European peoples from the balcony of the old station building (now there’s a science fiction scenario), though the statue of that early industrial representative of perfidious albion, John Cockerill, would probably have to be moved. Now, that would be the place to put a statue of Jean Monnet! (See this earlier post.)

1 Comment

  1. Anthony Teasdale

    Another variant of the same idea would be to use the back steps of Spinelli building for the inauguration, with distinguished guests seated in the Agora Simone Veil and the public able to watch from either side and from the Place du Luxembourg. The justices of the ECJ could be on hand to administer the oath.

    Like on the Mall in Washington DC, giant TV screens could broadcast the incoming President’s inaugural address – perhaps even with his or her predecessor disappearing by helicopter over the heads of the crowd… ?

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