Diego Lopez Garrido002This was another Bureau and Plenary Session week for the EESC. Both meetings went smoothly. Apart from the adoption of a number of important opinions, the political highlight of the session was the visit of the Spanish State Secretary for EU affairs, Mr Diego Lopez Garrido. His rich opening speech and detailed responses in the debate illustrated well why the ‘traditional’ rotating presidencies of the Council of the European Union continue to matter and indeed will continue to matter. Like its Swedish predecessor, one of the Spanish Presidency’s primary concerns is the exit strategy from the current crisis, and there Mr Lopez Garrido and his colleagues will, he stressed, be looking to the Committee for inspiration and support. As previous posts have illustrated, the Committee and its President, Mario Sepi, have been highly active in advising the EU about ways of avoiding the worst and sharing the best in terms of tactics and strategies. The situation at the moment is one of the glass being both half-full and half-empty. Yes, there are some absolutely ghastly unemployment statistics and there is a lot of very real suffering out there, but much worse has so far been avoided. Now, we must stick to our guns and make sure that our workforces and our societies more generally are well-placed to take advantage of the upturn when it comes.