This evening I went along to the farewell drinks party of Jürgen Schmehr (in the middle of the photograph), a Committee of the Regions colleague who has been working with the Committee’s Secretary General, Gerhard Stahl (on the right in the photo) and has been particularly involved in oiling the wheels of the cooperation agreement between the Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee. It is in considerable part through Jürgen’s good, hard and loyal work that the mid term review of the cooperation agreement was so positive. In fact, Jürgen and I were once colleagues back in the European Commission, in DG Education and Culture. I was happy to attend as a friend and colleague but I hope my presence was also felt symbolically for, without exaggeration, Jürgen has been the personification of successful inter-institutional cooperation.