The plenary’s guest speaker this morning was former Czech Prime Minister and current Commissioner with responsibility for employment, social affairs and equal opportunities, Vladimir Spidla. He is also a fellow, if only occasional, blogger (here). This was a poignant occasion, with Spidla’s future uncertain and many questions from the floor about legacy. To his credit, Spidla took them on the chin. He cited Bismark: politicians are judged not by their intentions but by what they achieve. Nevertheless, achievements there have been. His own take on the situation (I paraphrase) was that the bottle was half-full. Indeed, whatever the composition of the next European Commission, Barroso had already made it clear that social policy would be much more heavily emphasised.