|Viviane Reding - Janusz Lewandowski - Andris Piebalgs - Cecilia Malmstrom|
The European Commission, whose happy task it is to propose EU laws and make sure they are implemented, is steered by politicians from each of the 28 member states. These Commissioners must be sufficiently disliked at home for their government to want to exile them to Brussels, but sufficiently robust and patriotic to achieve national goals. Luxembourg's hyperactive Reding is the lady spends her time bullying the French. Lewandowski, the Pole given charge of the EU's budget gave his country a good settlement. Piebalgs, the cheerfully monochrome physicist from Latvia, has made little impact, but at least has not ruined anything. And Malmstrom, the Swedish former nurse, has thwarted Europe's most hawkish interior ministers as Commissioner for home affairs. Champagne all round then.