This morning, as part of my series of meetings with the staff of the European Economic and Social Committee, I met the logistics directorate. These colleagues are, collectively, another of the Committee’s engine houses; think buildings, IT, the print shop, security, public procurement, and so on. Without them we simply couldn’t function and so I began by sincerely thanking them all. The simple fact of the matter is that everything works, and works well (notably, thanks in large part to these colleagues, the Court of Auditors rarely makes any comment in its annual reports on our financial and technical management). The metaphor I used was of a driver and a car. The driver (me, mostly) does not constantly check whether every single part of the mechanism works, and many of those parts are in any case invisible. And yet the driver is unconsciously reliant on all parts of the mechanism and not just those parts of which he is aware. I was delighted when, in the ensuing question-and-answer session, the metaphor took on a life of its own. We segued from cars to the driver’s responsibility to checking the tyre pressure to Nigel Mansell to Michael Schumacher to the Americas Cup to rowing and conductors and orchestras. The common denominators in all of these metaphors were team work, shared skills and achievement. There is another powerful reason for thanking these colleagues (like the translators); they work in the so-called ‘joint services’, which means that many of the colleagues I was addressing are not ‘mine’ (they are employed by the Committee of the Regions). And yet both Committees are loyally and excellently served. Which is why I honestly believe that I am a very lucky Secretary General. To engage in such path-breaking inter-institutional cooperation is one thing. For it to be quite so successful is another and I am convinced that we are setting a good example to the other institutions. Participants in the meeting will understand the picture and know what this link means! It was 1984 and the lionheart won sixth place in the end.