Today the European Economic and Social Committee’s steering committee on the Europe 2020 strategy met in the presence of representatives from the network of national economic and social councils and similar bodies. The steering committee, chaired by Joost Van Iersel (Dutch, Employers’ Group), was addressed first by the Committee’s President, Staffan Nilsson, and then by Richard Corbett, a member of the private office of the President of the European Council. Corbett came to recount the substance and the dynamics of the European Council’s recent work in looking beyond the crisis towards growth and jobs. It was good to welcome Richard to the Committee. I have known him since we were young officials, he in the Parliament, me in the Commission, and we were both writing academic articles about the institutions and the integration process. Later, we would become fellow authors under the same publishing imprint. Richard went on to become a much respected MEP and now he is an advisor to Herman Van Rompuy. The basic message: we are not out of the woods yet and much remains to be done but if we stick to what we have agreed then the worst is over as far as the financial markets are concerned, leaving the Union to concentrate more fully on the twin challenges of sustainable growth and jobs.