Today’s plenary session enjoyed a second heavy-weight visit in the person of Michel Barnier, member of the European Commission with responsibility for the internal market, who came to talk to the subject of the Single Market Act. The single market is an area where the EESC has traditionally been very active, its activities focussed through the work of its Single Market Observatory but also plugging into the contributions of the national economic and social councils and similar institutions. Barnier, coming from a member state (France) where the consultative function is strongly enshrined in the constitution, is always appreciative of his visits to the Committee. Explaining his vision, he recounted how he had been deeply marked by the 2005 referendum result in France. It had led him to realise that the EU and its single market risked being perceived as only being there ‘pour les grands et les gros’. Barnier sees the single market as the platform on which much else can be built. The firmer the platform, the more that can be built above it. Reviewing my notes, I see one observation which, curiously, mirrored the sentiments of Barroso’s questioning about a better future; ‘We don’t,’ insisted Barnier, ‘have the right to be nostalgic.’