At the beginning of a new term in Brussels, a report on the commission’s top class

The school has been drifting since last year. Some pupils are failing to pull their weight just when everyone must tug together. Next year the school is supposed to discuss offering places to pupils from very different backgrounds. The new euro-bingo hall should be ready for its opening jamboree. And parents should realise that the top class is already too big. Some prefects will have to leave if standards start to fall.

Erkki Liikanen
Budget, personnel
1= A splendid performance. Despite staff extravagance and lots of perks, his grip on school spending has been remarkably tight. Parents should thank him for keeping down the fees. 9 (8)
Karel Van Miert
1= A triumphant year! Man of the match for beating the bullies of Boeing College, but must not rest on his laurels. Some parents, even our richest ones from Paris and Bonn, are still much too keen on special prizes for backward children. Karel must be brave enough to tell them off–and strong enough to get fellow pupils behind him. 9 (8)
Emma Bonino
Consumer policy and food safety, fish, humanitarian aid
3= A delightful girl, bubbling with ideas, a bit of a show-off, plucky enough to go on adventure training out of school bounds. Emma is now the chief taster of our school food, which is not always of Michelin standard. She must be careful not to let fishing-club pupils tie her up with their tackle. 8 (9)
Franz Fischler
3= Big Franz has had a good year, though Emma threw a custard pie at him during a row over school food. And he must get the headmaster to help him stop greedy boys from farming backgrounds keeping prices far too high in the tuck shop. 8 (9)
Leon Brittan
Vice-president, North America, Far East, Australasia, trade
5= A clever boy who is not as popular as he should be. Still, he has been good at sucking up to our sister college across the Atlantic without giving away too many buns. Sometimes he seems bored. Should we find him some new hobbies? 7 (7)
Mario Monti
Single market, tax
5= An excellent pupil, hard-working and polite, who was admirably cool when some rude parents started booing him in an inter-house match. However, his special project–trying to make parents pay the same taxes wherever they live–may get him into hot water. 7 (7)
Yves-Thibault de Silguy
Economy and finance
5= Some teachers say his mathematics is still shaky. Others say he deliberately tries to outwit them with silly puzzles and phoney figures. All the same, parents and pupils admire the way he has stuck to his favourite hobby, “euro bingo”. Watch the jackpot! 7 (7)
Hans van den Broek
Eastern Europe and ex-Soviet Union
5= Has done his best to persuade parents to let in scholarship boys from the “wrong side of the tracks”. But the governing board still hasn’t decided exactly who should be let in or how much new pupils should pay. Keep it up, Hans. 7 (6)
Neil Kinnock
9= Full of beans, but still talks too much in class. Time for some of his big ideas to come good. Where are those special trains and even aircraft he says should whizz children all over the school grounds? 6 (7)
Jacques Santer
9= Has done his best as head boy. Keeps the school happy but not too rowdy. But at this year’s big parental meetings too many clever boys took advantage of his indulgent nature. Must become a bit of a bully if everyone is to accept new school rules now well overdue. 6 (7)
Monika Wulf-Mathies
9= A nice, unstuffy girl. Bravely told parents of children from the sticks that they should jolly well pay higher fees like the rest of the class. For her pains, the bumpkins may well thump her in the playground. Needs a helping hand from bigger boys. 6 (6)
Anita Gradin
Immigration, justice, home affairs, fraud
12= As prefect with special responsibility for two popular subjects–honesty and girls’ rights–she has tried hard but has been too mousy. 5 (5)
Manuel Marin
Vice-president, Middle East, Latin America, South-East Asia
12= A serious, plodding boy who still fails to fulfil early promise. And he is too tied to his mummy’s Spanish apron. 5 (5)
Marcelino Oreja
Institutions, culture, audiovision
14 A plausible boy with excellent manners who sadly failed to impress at the parents’ end-of-term conference. 4 (4)
Martin Bangemann
Industry, info-tech, telecoms
15= Why is such a bright lad not doing better? Spends too much time playing with his boat when he should be running the school workshops, where standards are still too low. 3 (4)
Padraig Flynn
Jobs and social affairs
15= Has become more popular since more parents signed up to a refurbished Lefties’ Club. A bit of a bore about sticking to school rules, and still gabbles too much in class. 3 (2)
Christos Papoutsis
Energy, small and medium- sized enterprises, tourism
15=A shy, well-meaning lad who does not stand out. School would be much cheaper if he could persuade parents to let all pupils compete for prizes in his special hobby, energy. 3 (3)
Joao de Deus Pinheiro
Africa, Caribbean, Pacific
15=Has been out of school so often this term that it is hard to give him a fair mark. Some say he prefers golf to homework. Clever of him to avoid being bottom of the class. 3 (3)
Ritt Bjerregaard
Environment, nuclear safety
19=A shoddy, muddled worker and a crosspatch. Tries to please green-fingered friends back home but nobody else. 2 (2)
Edith Cresson
Science, research and education
19=What a shame. Edith is brighter than she seems but is often late for school, saying she does extra jobs at home. If she tried harder at school she might be less homesick. 2 (3)

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