Happy New Year and welcome to my net diary. Yesterday?s teaser is now converted into the first real entry.

It all reminds me of a dandruff shampoo commercial. ?Head & Shoulders, because you never get a second chance to make a first impression?.

I?ve been ?blogging? for the past two years. Today I passed a milestone. I published entry number 400.

I don?t blame you for not reading them: they?ve all been written in Finnish, a language often called ?an alphabet soup gone haywire?.

This is not a blog in the true sense of the word. In a blog you would be able to post your comments under each one of my diary entries. You can?t do that here, but this should not prevent you from getting in touch. On the contrary. Feedback is more than welcome, and I promise you one thing: I will respond. This goes for my mother-in-law and father-in-law as well?

This is essentially a net diary describing the day-to-day work of a Member of the European Parliament.

I?ll try to write two to three times a week.

If past experience is anything to go by, you will see some days with a broad analysis of the state of the European Union. On other days I?ll go into the detail of a particular piece of legislation.

I?ll also be hoping to shed some light on the dynamics of the European Parliament: the tensions between and within political groups and different nationalities.

Most of the entries will be accompanied by pictures. Who knows, you might even catch your own MEP in one of them, whether you want it or not.

A quick glance at my homepage will reveal my background: a mix between academia, civil service and now politics.

I also find it very hard to take myself seriously. I know myself too well?You can always grow old, but never cease to be immature. My wife, Suzanne, says I live by this motto?

In actual fact I think that the Parliament is an exciting place to work. And this is coming from a former civil servant who has worked in both the European Commission and the Council of Ministers.

Whatever your conviction about the European Union, one thing is for sure: it is rarely boring. Hope you enjoy this blog as much as I enjoy writing it. Please let me know what you think.