The year 2009 is slowly approaching its end, and I haven't heard any major European politician speak about her/his European vision, her/his European dream for the future of the EU.
All year, we have been discussing about important persons, about treaties, about national politics during European elections.
But at no moment we had any ideational leadership, there was no one of profile sharing a vision of how the EU should be in the future - if you exclude Jean Quatremer's scenarios that look so negative or technocratic that I don't even want to talk about them.
Tomorrow, MEPs will have the chance to question Barroso, for the first time ever, in a plenary session of the European Parliament.
This would be the moment to ask him about where he sees the Union in 10 years, it would be the moment to get him out of his suit of armour made of boringness and ambiguity. It would be the moment to make him say something of value, of importance, for the first time since he is in office, at least for the first time I would remember.
This is what I actually want to hear from him: Where does he want us to be? Is he willing to lead - or is he planning to stand behind the fence and just to look at the other children playing on the street? Will the Union get back to a European dream that is worth the term, and is the Commission able to deliver this spirit?
Bureaucracy or brilliance, past or future, narrow-mindedness or a Europe of open spirits?
Probably MEPs will instead ask him about little policy details, about Lisbon, about the Stockholm programme, about enlargement and they won't get anything but diplomatic answers, nothing that is close to a vision of our Europe - a human Europe - nothing that is anywhere near to what the Union needs if it still wants to be a guiding concept for a whole continent and its 800 million people, of which 500 million are already citizens of the EU.
But if anyone has a light moment tomorrow, if anyone has the courage to leave the paths that are paved by old habits and political games, just ask Mr. Barroso about his vision - and if he has nothing to say, then let him go and hide forever in his snail shell!
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