It became evident as the pre-session meeting went through the draft Bureau and plenary session agenda that we have a heavy but also rich few days ahead of us. At the end of these pre-session meetings I like to invite colleagues to inform everybody about recent important Committee activities. The first to speak was, of course, the Head of the President’s Cabinet, Andrea Pierucci, to inform everybody about Mario Sepi’s trip to China and the Autonomous Region of Tibet (see various posts) and its follow up. We heard about Joensuu and about the Committee’s activities focused around the Pallethouse (see previous posts). Of course, I knew about those, since I had been to both. But we also heard about: a joint panel discussion on employment and the social impact of the crisis in Latvia, co-organised by the Committee’s Section for Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship in Riga (17 September); a public hearing on the working of the internal market that the Committee’s Single Market Observatory had organised in Sofia (18 September); a trade and development workshop that the EESC’s External Relations Section had organised in New Delhi (24 September); and the first meeting of the EESC’s joint consultative committee with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (25 September). When I hear about all of those activities I can’t stop my chest from swelling just a little. It is not just the themes and issues that are being covered, and not just the quality of the work that is undertaken on such occasions, but it is also the sheer professional excellence of the organisation. Few commercial organisations could organise so many different events in so many different locations with so many participants and so few staff and with such excellent results. Well done, everybody!