Viviane Reding is meeting Europe's 500m citizens. However, as an unelected EU official detached from the democratic process, this means in practice, if Monday's event at the Royal Institution is anything to go by, taking questions from just eight nationals from each nation.
I counted about 150 people in the audience for her UK roadshow. As it turned out, many of these were European nationals working in London (one of whom thought it unfair that the 2.2m EU citizens in the UK were going to be denied a vote in our Referendum). A whole block in the centre, from whom most questions came, were from a single pressure group - European Youth, or European Future or some such. I didn't quite catch the name - which seemed to be a sort of dating club for geekish EUphiles. Only one angry little chap in a purple blazer asked a couple of intelligent questions that challenged Reding, and satisfyingly pulled her up sharply when she slipped and referred to Europe as a country.
The rest of the two hours was dull pap and tedium of the sort at which the EU excels. Reding proved that in contradiction of the mantras of the MBA dummies, there is an 'I' in 'Europe', and it's Frau Reding. I lost count of the directives she claimed to have sired, and with the mention of each one she swelled like a little red balloon with Europride and hubris. The defining moment came when she described her latest triumph - a Charter for the Rights of Victims. I tasted sick at the back of my throat. Was I a Victim of Euro-hubris? What rights could I claim?
Like the idiot colleague who once remarked to me 'I think I won that conversation', the EU's video of Reding's hectoring monologue is titled 'Vice-President REDING's citizens' dialogue in London'. Dear God, the woman loves herself. Here's a taste if you've the stomach for it.