Today I had one of my regular working lunches with my counterpart at the Committee of the Regions, Gerhard Stahl. We are always accompanied by the Heads of our respective secretariats and we work our way through a pre-established agenda of mutual information or working points. Next week the new Presidents of the two Committees, Mercedes Bresso (Committee of the Regions) and Staffan Nilsson (EESC) are going to meet so we spent some time in discussing possible discussion topics for them. Gerhard and I together preside over a unique administrative experiment; we share a significant amount of our administrative resources in order to realise ‘synergies’ and economies of scale. We both believe that the experiment is an unqualified success and an example to other institutions. Our working lunches are part of the overall joint governance mechanisms and they work very well. The fact that we have known each other well since we were both junior officials back in the 1980s – he in the Parliament, me in the Commission – surely helps!