The offices have cleared, the traffic is calm, the sun is (supposed) to be out. Brussels is tranquil. But it belies a precarious week for the poor souls still left in town. There are still some delicate issues to deal with.
Italian banks are top of the list. Stress tests results will be released on Friday and a fix for the troubled Monte dei Paschi di Siena is still to be found. Matteo Renzi will be more fidgety than ever. Germany and France are grappling with the aftermath of attacks – Germany faced an apparent suicide bombing last night, its fourth violent incident in a week – which are as unnerving as they are different.
Spanish and Portuguese budget transgressions will be discussed again in Brussels. Much like the Italian banking situation, these are decisions that look on paper relatively straightforward. But as Simon Nixon in the Wall Street Journal writes, this is an EU in the throes of a crisis of legitimacy.
Brexit at least seems at a relative standstill (much like the traffic trying to make the crossing from Dover to Calais). One of points of discussion at the Commission on Wednesday will be the portfolio of Sir Julian King, the nominee to be Britain’s next commissioner. A good few of his colleague would prefer him to be portfolio-free – a Commissioner for summer holidays perhaps.