This week has whistled by in a series of back-to-back meetings, some to chair, some one-on-one, from early to late, but this afternoon, thanks to the kind invitation of the President of the EESC’s Various Interests Group, Luca Jahier, I was able to sit down in one place for a few hours and actively participate in a brainstorming session about the role European universities can play in Europe, both in relation to the current crisis and, more broadly, in relation to the European integration process.┬áJahier had invited a number of his Group members active in the academic sphere and a number of representatives from the European university sector. To encourage the sense of a free exchange, we met in one of the Committee’s circular meeting rooms. I suspect my invitation also had something to do with a previous incarnation, since my last job in the European Commission was managing higher education exchange programmes in the Directorate-General for Education and Culture. There were in any case some old friends around the table. The implicit question on the table was could and should Europe’s universities refind the sense of cultural community that once used to exist – before the arrival of the nation state, that is. Answers, on a postcard, please…