This afternoon’s plenary session got under way with a visit from the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, who came to speak about ‘European economic governance in action’. Barroso’s wide-ranging analysis was sober and sobering. The cost of the crisis has, he underlined, been very heavy in human terms. The challenge is to ensure that these costs do not endure. (You can read his speech here.) During his responses to members’ questions, Barroso recalled that post-war generations of parents had always sought to provide a better future for their children and their grandchildren and that this had until now been a viable prospect. Announcing with happiness and pride that he himself had become a grandfather three months ago, Barroso explained that he now frequently asked himself the question as to whether we can really say that the future for our children and grandchildren will be better. As you can see from the picture, the observation made everybody sit up and think.