On 24 March, hundreds of EU staff in Belgium have spent their lazy Sunday on the beach. “What’s new?” you might wonder. Well, they didn’t come for sunbathing, even if the weather was good for it. Nor for taking an early dip into the sea – though swimming in ice cold water is something of a national tradition here (“ijsberen”, or acting like an ice bear). Equipped with gloves, bags, litter picking sticks and a host of 12-starred paraphernalia, officials from the Commission and other institutions came to clean the beach, ahead of the tourist season.