This afternoon’s plenary session hosted a visit from Laszlo Andor, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion. A partnership approach is the key to success in the Europe 2020 strategy, he argued, and therefore the European Economic and Social Committee must fully play its role as the link between the EU and civil society. This, he insisted, is to ensure that the voice of the most vulnerable is not drowned out. Andor outlined the methods and challenges of the Europe 2020 strategy. Drawing lessons from the failings of the Lisbon Strategy, i.e. Europe 2020’s predecessor, he pointed to the principle of partnership as a means of meeting the current strategy’s goals. “Engaging stakeholders in dialogue and ownership of the strategy must continue throughout the implementation process”, he said. One spontaneous observation stayed in my mind. The Commissioner was talking about the tragically high youth unemployment rates: ‘This is probably the best educated generation ever in Europe,’ he said, ‘and yet youth unemployment has never been higher.’