On 28 February 2002, the former French president Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, at the age of eighty-one, opened the ‘European Convention’ in three out of eleven official EU languages. This one-year conference is to do what Heads of State and Government had failed to do during the InterGovernmental Conferences (IGCs) of Amsterdam (1997), Nice (2000) and Laken (2001): prepare the EU for enlargement, enhance its democratic structure and create the basis for a coherent role in world politics. The initiative itself fits neatly into the long row of steps that have created an institutionalised waiting room, in which the countries of the former Warsaw Treaty Organisation, with the exception of the GDR, have patiently been sitting since 1989 – waiting for the West to open its side of the wall to the East. The purpose of the European Convention is institutional change.