EESC members are appointed for a fixed period (until now, four years, but five years under the Lisbon Treaty’s provisions). The current mandate ends in September and in October the Committee will go through the process of what it calls ‘renewal’. Statistics indicate that as much as 30 per cent of each mandate’s membership is new to the Committee. To quote the ad men’s cliché, you never get a second chance to make a first impression and we, as an administration, are determined to make the best possible impression with our new members in October. To that end, we have established a task force to look into every angle of the renewal process, and this afternoon I chaired a very productive and positive meeting of the task force. Our basic philosophy is a ‘one stop shop’, with a new member being able to conduct and complete all formalities in one place and time. We also intend to give carefully targeted information (and avoid information overload). At the end of the day, it’s a sort of exercise of the imagination. If you were entirely new to the EU, ‘Brussels’ and the institutions, what would you want to know? What would you need to know and to have? From the chairman’s point of view, it was a dream of a meeting; excellently prepared, entirely constructive in atmosphere, and with every service represented bringing good news of great progress.