The European Commission’s more than 21,000 employees are spread out over a total of 61 buildings in the Brussels area. I had reason to ponder on this fact today as I was marching increasingly flat-footed across the Maelbeek area in search of the office where you renew your press badge – the gates of which, that is, all of us foreign journalists must enter sooner or later. (I have been there before, so I only got lost once on the way.)
The office in question is quite a walk from the area where the main action is, but since parking in this particular part of town is as easy as picking the lock of the Gates of Dawn with a dead herring, you are wise to resort to good old legwork.
What I cannot fathom, though, is that such a main security function has been located well away from the buildings it is to protect. There is probably some logic there too, which I have yet to discern.
The 27 Commissioners and their main staff are, however, safely tucked together in the main building, Berlaymont. This is a behemoth with quite a story, which I shall write more about later during ths week.