Yesterday and today NATO Foreign Ministers have been meeting in Berlin, no doubt an important meeting in light of the problems facing the mission in Libya. I also do not deny that these ministers are important people and are a possible target for extremists.

But is it really necessary to mess up the traffic and public transport in a city when they are meeting?

The sign above is from a tram stop, where all trams were delayed as they were blocked in traffic, and one attendee at #rp11 tweeted this yesterday evening:

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Brussels faces a similar situation four times a year when heads of state and government gather for European Council meetings – Schuman becomes some kind of militarised zone, with police everywhere, traffic chaos, and access to the area only for pedestrians.

Do all these high level politicians, flying in an flying out, realise the chaos they are causing?

The solution surely is to host these meetings in places that are secure, but don’t cause hassle for people. Like the NATO HQ in the outskirts of Brussels – no-one is going to be bothered if the Foreign Ministers were to meet there. OK, the ministers would not get a nice view of a Brandenburg Gate but, frankly, tough. The price for their security paranoia should not be making our cities a mess when they meet.

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