This morning, the Presidents of the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions jointly hosted a state visit from the President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Franco Frattini. The three Presidents, Napolitano, Mario Sepi and the newly-elected Mercedes Bresso, spent almost an hour together, with their discussions primarily concentrating on the consequences of the Lisbon Treaty. Napolitano is a great European as well as a great Italian and he was very much on the ball when it came to the Treaty’s provisions on such themes as the social dimension, participatory democracy and subsidiarity. My counterpart at the CoR, Gerhard Stahl, and I had privileged ringside seats in these intimate exchanges. Too soon it was all over and the sense of excitement that had temporarily convulsed the institutions subsided. Napolitano deserves a good biography. In the meantime, the wiki entry is enough to demonstrate why Napolitano is such a historic figure.