And so to work. The extraordinary meeting of the Bureau (the decision-making body) of the Employers’ Group was meeting in Ajaccio to discuss the theme of ‘education and the needs of the new economy’. Our hosts were the local Chamber of Commerce and Industry. My job – a great privilege and pleasure – was to chair a panel discussion on the theme. The panel was composed of the EESC’s President, Staffan Nilsson, and the President of the Employers’ Group, Henri Malosse, and three EESC members (Vladimira Drbalova, Madi Sharma and St├ęphane Buffetaut) and the Director General of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Education and Culture, Jan Truszczynski, and two local representatives; Antoine Aiello, President of the University of Corsica, and Pierre Anchetti, President of the training committee of the Ajaccio Chamber of Commerce and Industry. It was a hugely interesting and enjoyable morning. Aiello and Anchetti were so passionately committed to their cause that they radiated dynamism and optimism. But there was also great chemistry in the room: ‘Europe’ had come to Ajaccio but had come to listen, rather than preach. Somewhere in the discussion I quoted Monnet about how what was required was neither optimism nor pessimism but determination. Well, there was plenty of determination in that meeting room today and it was great, just great, to drink in the atmosphere.