Welcome to Lisbon Land

approaching a new world?

approaching a new world?

Did you notice the difference? Maybe not but, anyway, it’s official; since midnight we have been in Lisbon Land. This morning I gave a little welcoming address to a conference about the Lisbon Treaty being organised by the European Institute of Public Administration on our premises. (The timing is uncanny! ) This afternoon I’ll be going back to participate in a panel discussion about inter-institutional dynamics under the new Treaty’s provisions. Gathering my thoughts, I have decided to start with two literary references, one sublime, and one banal. The sublime reference is Shakespeare’s Tempest and the wonderful lines he gives to Miranda in Act V: ‘O brave new world, that has such people in’t!’ The banal is onetime poet laureate Alfred Austin’s lines on the illness of the then Prince of Wales: ‘across the wire the electric message came, He is no better, he is much the same.’ So which is it to be? A brave new world? Or much the same? That’s the question I’ll be addressing this afternoon.

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