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Happy Europe Day! The offices of the European Commission are closed.

We can only assume they’re putting up the Eurovision decorations, being closed for the anniversary of the foundation of the EU…

The European Commission offices in Brussels this morning: hardly bustling.
The European Commission offices in Brussels this morning: hardly bustling.
Image: Yves Logghe/AP

YOU MAY NOT have realised it yet but today is Europe Day. Neither it seems does the European Commission – its offices are closed.

Europe Day is supposed to mark the foundation of the European Coal and Steel Community, the organisation that ultimately became today’s European Union.

For all our tense dealings with the EU of late, the European Commission’s office on Dawson Street is throwing itself into the spirit. It is holding a free lunch where visitors can “grab a snack, meet a variety of volunteer organisations and see what they do” as a tie-in celebration for the European Year of Volunteering.

But sadly, it would appear that the same spirit of volunteerism doesn’t stretch to the European Commission’s HQ in Brussels – they are closed for the day.

Europe Day is effectively being a bespoke festival for Europhiles – sharing their joy at the peace and progress forged in Europe under the EU’s various treaties – and presumably the commission should be working overtime, trying to exploit the press attention being momentarily fixed on Europe’s affairs.

Sadly, today, Brussels didn’t think that was the case – when we tried to get in touch with the offices to seek clarification on something, we found that the entire European Commission offices are closed for the day.

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So instead of the 27 commissioners’ individual spokespersons being on duty for what is possibly the busiest day of the European year, there is simply one on-duty spokesperson on call for all of the continent’s media.

We can only assume that they’re making good use of the time by putting up special bunting ahead of the first Eurovision Song Contest semi-final tomorrow evening.

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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