In my previous guise as a Director of Consultative Work I had the pleasure of working closely with Edgardo Iozia (Italian/Employees’ Group), a very active and committed EESC member, on what we liked to call the bio-fuels dossier. This was an opinion (you can read it here) where the Committee had something distinctive to say, particularly with regard to the European Commission’s confidence in the benefits of the first generation of bio-fuels. Other voices soon joined the clamour of those asking the Commission to re-think, but the Committee was among the first. We’ve remained friends since that first experience.
In a chat during the plenary session Edgardo came out with a pearl of a metaphor. I was going on a bit about all the distractions that had occurred before I even took up my mandate (all right; I was whingeing). ‘I’m a sailor,’ Edgardo told me. ‘And let me tell you, when you are in port all sorts of nonsense goes on. But once you put to sea you have to forget about everything that went on in port and concentrate on the voyage ahead of you; the wind, the stars, the map, the sails, your destination.’ Brilliant. I have stopped whingeing.