This was a  long day and I got home pretty late but in an excellent mood after a series of back-to-back but very productive meetings. I’m generally in before eight and I start every morning at eight forty-five with a preparatory meeting with Eleonora, the head of my secretariat. From there it was into a meeting about how better to prioritise the Committee’s opinions (one hour). Next was a talk to the colleagues in the consultative works directorates to inform them about the philosophy behind the Committee’s new establishment plan (one hour and fifteen minutes). I did the same for another hour-and-a-quarter with the colleagues from the general affairs directorate. Then it was into a meeting with the President’s private office and various colleagues to coordinate the preparation of the President’s forthcoming ‘white paper’ (ninety minutes). No time for lunch (compensation for the previous day!) but into another coordination meeting about the organisation of the Committee’s civil society prize (one hour – watch this space for the prize). That was followed by a one-hour interview of a candidate for the position of head of the EESC’s press unit, and that was followed by a thirty minute chat with Philippe De Buck, Secretary General of BusinessEurope. There was then just time for a quick coordination meeting with Gerhard Stahl, Secretary General of the Committee of the Regions, and then we both went into an almost three-hour long conciliation meeting with the trades union representatives on the issue of flexi-time. In all of these meetings the atmosphere was good and a lot of positive progress was made, so it was a really good day.