To the fifth floor of the Jacques Delors building this evening to join President Mercedes Bresso, my counterpart, Gerhard Stahl, and other colleagues at the Committee of the Regions to say farewell to Steen Illeborg, the outgoing Director of the Registry at the Committee of the Regions. In a previous incarnation I worked closely with Steen, each representing our respective institutions, and always enjoyed friendly and entirely productive relations, leavened by, I suspect, similar senses of humour. In his farewell speech Steen summed Danish humour: ‘Nothing so serious that humour cannot apply, and nothing so funny that there isn’t a serious side.’ He spoke also, echoing Dean Acheson in a very different context, about how he had been one of a handful of colleagues who had been ‘present at the creation’ of the Committee of the Regions. At an age when most of us would be happy to put our feet up for a while at least, Steen is off now to Copenhagen University to do a doctorate. I am full of admiration.