On the Slovenian presidency website:
There is one common thread running through the whole agenda - synergy. It represents what the European Union has been founded on from the very beginning. It denotes the work we undertake in common, work which achieves results that are greater than the sum of each individual contribution. Let us be fully aware of this added value. Let us make better use of it. It is not just the synergy between Member States and institutions. It is also the synergy of all areas of activity, all goals and all strategies. The synergy between citizens, generations and cultures. Between the European Union and other world players, regions and continents.
As if that were not excitement enough... we also learn that "2008 is the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue" and that we should gear up for the "Meeting of the High-Level Group on Gender Mainstreaming" on the 10th of January. Woo-hoo!
Question: do we think that Chinese, Indian or US political elites are wasting their time on this sort of thing? (hint: no)
For all the endless rhetoric about an outward-looking, "Global Europe" - the EU, with its endless meetings and obscure processes, remains fundamentally an inward-looking, non-future-focussed kind of community.
The political culture that produces high level meetings on gender mainstreaming (though it may well be laudable, whatever it is) is certainly *not* going to run the 21st century.