"What are these Summits for? " asked with a skeptical tone in her voice the most recent addition to the European diplo-community in Madrid, JulSoup, with rhetorical fake naivetevé.
This blogger of yours, hesitating between the paternalistic answer from a more senior fellow of the same line of business and the tongue-in-cheek remark that would made him score some extra brownie-points, opted resolutely for the second option.
"My dear Jul, I can only speculate about that. There's, for sure, a trend of rising personal intercourse between the leaders themselves. In fact, "They" are into such first name basis relationships and they bump together so frequently that I'm expect they will start address each other by "Mon Cousin" any time soon. No need for executive machineries, nor, God help us, for indirect diplomatic exchanges. Say, a direct phone call to the Austrian Chancellor perhaps from a very powerful Cousin and Turkey gets the nod; or a call to whatever Palace the Moroccan Sovereign finds Himself to be and some barrier-mountaineers are softly re-accepted in the right side of a border. As things stand, they really do need to take care of personal chemistries, of their shared memories of events worldwide.. General intimitate acquaintance...Children's photos.. Bond-building..
"Okay, okay, I got your point. Like XVIII Century Monarchs, I see" - interrupts my bubbly co-drinker with an impatient voice. "But what is it about Summits, then? Why not just sticking to bilaterals or small groups?".
I indulge in a couple of seconds of silence. (Pause) - as Harold Pinter would have had it, if this was one of his recently Nobelized plays - . "Interesting question. Specially because you take for granted that nothing of substance will ever come out of a Summit, which I find myself tempted to agree if Mr McLuhan had not theorize about it long time ago. Even if substance is ready beforehand it's the liturgy that will make it translatable to the masses, you see? On the other hand haven't you heard that in a group of peers it's only when they are all together, in one place, that the "real" hierarchy becomes apparent? To make it clear, for all these new Sovereigns meeting together, what is the untold pecking order - that's what Summits are for."
JulSoup smiled and reached for the flûte.