The Committee’s January plenary session got under way this afternoon with a visit from Neelie Kroes, European Commission Vice-President with responsibility for the Digital Agenda. IT, she argued, is not a goal but a vital instrument in helping the Union to reach its ambitious Europe2020 objectives. Admittedly, the ‘crown jewel’ of the single market is already there, but we cannot afford to be complacent. (In an amusing aside, Kroes told her audience that ‘If somebody had told me in the 1970s that by 2010 we would have a single market, 27 member states, a united Europe and a single currency I would have told them to go and see a psychiatrist.’) I am going to quote just a few of Kroes’s declarations here, not to be immodest about the Committee, but because of another post which I will write in due course. ‘I am here for selfish reasons. I have come to get you on my side. I badly need your help. I need your support for the digital agenda.’ To my ears, that does not sound like somebody who thinks the Committee is useless!