This morning I was busy practising the Secretary General’s essential art of being in two places at once. In the first place, I helped greet Felipe Gonzalez, now chairman of the reflection group on the future of Europe, who was the guest speaker at an extraordinary meeting of the Bureau. I consider Gonzalez to be a historic figure, and it was a privilege to meet him and talk briefly. I was reminded of just how far back his history goes when he explained that he had first met our President, Mario Sepi, at a trades union conference in Florence over thirty-five years ago, when Franco was still in power in Spain. I then had to dash to the Berlaymont for my first meeting together with the Secretaries-General of the EU institutions. Three of us were new (Klaus Welle, from the EP, Eduardo Ruis-Garzia from the Court of Auditors, and me), and there was a sense of a new term (or of new pupils in the classroom), but we were made very welcome and everybody settled immediately into the discussions. Afterwards (the meeting lasted an hour-and-a-half) I dashed back to the Jacques Delors building and caught the tail end of the Bureau discussion. One of Gonzalez’s telling points was that, although the iron curtain fast fell and Europe seemed to adapt rapidly to the new world order, it was only now truly adjusting to all of the consequences of those heady years of peaceful revolution, democratisation and enlargement.