The European Economic and Social Committee likes to think of its headquarters building as being the house of organised civil society. As such, we have a well-established practice of paying host to meetings organised by civil society organisations of various sorts, in partnership with us. So this morning we hosted the annual general meeting of the Euclid Network. We also have a practice of making sure that all important visitors to our premises get welcomed personally. So it was that this morning I found myself, together with Group III President Staffan Nilsson, welcoming Baroness Cathy Ashton to the Committee. She had come to deliver Euclid’s keynote address. Her basic theme was that civil society was an ‘untapped resource for the EU across the world’. This sentiment echoed what Ban Ki-Moon had told the AICESIS General Assembly in New York in early July. At a human level, I have to say that the High Representative and Commission Vice-President was remarkably cool and unflustered (a quality in itself in such a role, I would argue). As is well known, she is expected to do three jobs rolled into one and, at the moment, does not yet have her external action service beneath her to deliver. Although we have already had glimmerings, once the EAS is there I am sure that we will start to see many interesting and positive new dynamics in the Union’s external relations.