This morning, together with my counterpart at the Committee of the Regions, Gerhard Stahl, I co-chaired the fifteenth bi-monthly meeting of the Secretaries-General of the two Committees, together with their Directors of Joint Services and Directors of Administration and Finance. This regular meeting is one part of the governance mechanism, set out in the formal cooperation agreement between the two consultative bodies, that enables us both to pool significant quantities of our resources in what we call the ‘Joint Services’. Such pooling, which enables us to achieve considerable economies for the tax payer, requires elaborate planning and coordination, particularly in areas such as human and budgetary resources. The existence of this meeting allows for thorny issues that couldn’t be boiled off at a lower level of governance to bubble their way up to us. Some we resolve, some we discuss and pass back down and some we decide to put to our political authorities. But whatever we do, we do it in a coordinated and collegial fashion. I believe that this cooperation – an undeniable success – is not just good for the taxpayer but sets an example for the other institutions about the best use of scarce resources and, above all, human capital.