Saturday, October 29, 2005

A Week in Brussels: Adieu

Adieu Bruxelles,

It is Saturday and the end of the EU assignment. I have travelled home by train as it is a 3 hours trainride with 3 times changing.

Police preparing in the morning for the big manifestation of the afternoon

Yesterday it was a disaster in Brussels. The unions were on strike for their pensions. Presently the Belgians retire at 58 years; the government is now setting 60 years as a deadline. The unions do not agree with this measure and have called a series of strike, preferably on Friday. The strikers come in the morning to Brussels with their red capes and whistles, have a big manifestation and go home, thus starting the weekend early. In the neighbourhood of the hotel the police started to prepare early for the manifestation. I believe one of the offices of a union is located in this area.

The EU assignment is over. The proposals have been evaluated, scored and a ranking has been made up. So some companies and institutes will be happy, while others will be very disappointed and come back to the EC officials asking them why they were not selected. Over the years the habit has been developed to present the scores to the proposers with some basic comments. So for the time being no evaluation of STREPS, NoEs, SSAs and CAs.

But the EU business is not over yet. By November 24, 2005 there is the deadline of the e-ContentPlus programme. This is a section I am very interested in as it I right in the heart of my work. I wonder how many proposals will be entered for this call.

For the time being it is: Adieu Bruxelles.

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