I continued with my ‘meeting the troops’ series this morning, enjoying a working breakfast with the Working Conditions, Rights and Obligations Unit of the European Economic and Social Committee. As the Unit’s title suggests, the colleagues here effectively look after the rest of us, from (for example) arranging legal and financial paperwork required by the Belgian government for EU officials through establishing various allowances to welcoming new staff, supporting staff and looking after our time management system. The Unit also houses the medical and social service. I learnt a huge amount from our discussions. I was particularly interested in the always pertinent observations made about the challanges facing the administrations of small institutions. The Unit has to both develop and implement policies, whilst more generally keeping ‘the show on the road’. I repeated my view, sincerely held, that the EESC’s administration is highly efficient, in no small part because of the professionalism of its staff, inlcuding the staff in this Unit. Without them, the administration simply wouldn’t exist. Punto e basta!