hammers‘History in the making’ is a hackneyed phrase, but like all people of a certain age I have been lucky to witness several genuinely historical events as they unfolded, German unification being perhaps the greatest. I have kaleidoscopic memories about the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the iron curtain. One reported image, though, summed it all up. A Commission colleague, sensing what was about to happen, raced to Berlin and returned a day later with fragments of the wall, which he distributed generously to all of his colleagues (there was a scare, though, when it was reported that the wall contained large quantities of asbestos!). He told us how he had walked up and down the wall on both sides of the city and everywhere, all night, he saw the same scene; people, ordinary people, from both sides of the divide, chipping away with hammers of all shapes and sizes, from toffee hammers to sledge hammers, determined to reduce the monstrosity to rubble. The physical wall no longer exists but, in a way, you could argue that we are still chipping away, twenty years on, determined to reduce to nothing the final remains of the monstrosity that had so disfigured our continent.