In the evening I met an old and dear friend, Francis Jacobs, who is currently head of the European Parliament’s office in Dublin. We are both ‘Hopkinis‘ and Italophiles and political anoraks and academics manqués and European Parliament enthusiasts and authors and editors of books and…  Well, it was great to catch up – and in Dublin for a change, rather than Brussels, Luxembourg or Strasbourg, where we more regularly bump into one another.