On Thursday, the federal parliament ended its last session before the May elections. Whatever result that election returns, one in five of the members sitting yesterday will not be returning for the new session. Among those who have announced their departure is Eric Van Rompuy, brother of the former prime minister and president of the European Council Herman. Van Rompuy is in his own right a highly regarded parliamentarian, representative of his home town of Zaventem and chair of the house finance committee. He now retires at the age of 69 from politics altogether.