This evening the Swedish Ministry of Rural Affairs hosted a gala dinner in honour of the EESC’s President and members. My neighbour (to my right in the picture) was Charlotta Eriksson, who is the spokesperson for Eskil Erlandson (Centre Party), the Minister for Rural Affairs. Charlotta’s father is a farmer and so she grew up with a natural understanding of the importance of farming, both as an economic activity and as a social and cultural necessity. State Secretary Magnus Kindbom, fresh back from the Rio+20 talks, gave a welcoming speech. Through all of these speeches and exchanges of views and meetings we have rapidly developed a feeling for the Swedish model – not just economic, but societal. Sweden is, clearly, a good place to be and, just as clearly, the Swedes are determined to keep it that way!