I continued with my ‘meeting the troops’ series this morning, enjoying a working breakfast with the Registry and Archives Unit of the European Economic and Social Committee. Here is another important engine house in the Committee’s secretariat. This particular ‘machine’ works, and works very well: nine plenary sessions a year, eleven Bureau meetings, servicing the Quaestors, keeping the document flow going… And, as with the Committee’s other engine houses, because it works so well, we tend to take it a little for granted, although I never cease to be impressed by the efficiency of such Units, especially when compared with the larger institutions. The registry is also, as my predecessor used to say, the ‘guardian of the temple’. The registry is, for example, the custodian of the Rules of Procedere and of their implementing provisions. However, as the Head of Unit, Dominique-François Bareth, pointed out, the fact that the Registry must, by the very nature of its responsibilities, be prudent and conservative, does not mean that it cannot be thoroughly modern in its methodology and philosophy. This morning we had an excellent, amicable, frank and encouraging exchange about the challenges facing the Committee, from ever-increasing workloads to ever-shrinking deadlines. I learnt a huge amount, thoroughly enjoyed myself and couldn’t resist a sticky bun at the end! Oh, and, oh yes, much to my delight I learnt that we had an accomplished, prize-winning poetess in our midst.