This morning the plenary session was addressed by Olivier Chastel, Belgian Secretary of State for European Affairs, who presented the incoming Presidency-in-Office’s programme and priorities. His detailed presentation and his courteously detailed replies to questions put to him in the ensuing debate put the lie to the idea that the creation of the permanent Presidency of the Council of the European Union has somehow rendered the traditional rotating six-month Presidencies of the Council of Ministers less important. (This is something I have consistently argued: the Lisbon Treaty created a new office but it did not do away with the told one.) Understandably, the Secretary of State was questioned repeatedly about whether a caretaker government could run an effective Presidency. His response, reading between the lines, was that, under the current circumstances, a caretaker government was probably better able to run an effective Presidency. This was because all domestic ideological competition was put on hold and all domestic political actors were determined to help Belgium produce an effective and efficient Presidency. From the very beginning, Belgium has always punched above its weight in Europe (think Paul-Henri Spaak), and this Presidency will, I suspect, be no different from its seventeen predecessors. The EU is in Belgians’ blood, if not their DNA.