This morning I accompanied EESC President Staffan Nilsson to the opening session of a Conference organised jointly by the Committee and the European Youth Forum on the theme of ‘Quality Jobs for Youth: Are We asking for Too Much?’ Despite the undoubted seriousness of the theme, there was a great atmosphere in the meeting room as the President was joined by Laszlo Andor, European Commission member for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion and a very impressive Peter Matjasic, President of the European Youth Forum. After the set-piece speeches the meeting, chaired by the Committee’s Krzysztof Pater, President of the EESC’s Labour Market Observatory, moved on to the nitty-gritty theme of pre-employment contracts and precarious jobs; were these a threat or an opportunity? Following on from my lunchtime discussion with Joost Van Iersel, here was another example of the way in which the Committee reaches out to the wider world of organised civil society, providing a platform and a context for dialogue (on this occasion, notably, between the youth evident in the picture and the European Commission).