It’s plenary session week again for the European Economic and Social Committee – the last of the year. As usual, I chaired the management board early yesterday morning, and the subsequent ‘pre-session meeting’. This morning the enlarged Presidency met early to prepare for this afternoon’s Bureau meeting. All of these meetings went smoothly and productively. Traditionally I would illustrate the enlarged Presidency with a picture of Howard Taft and the Bureau with a picture of … a bureau. But this time I am posting a picture I sneaked in the enlarged Presidency meeting this morning. This is because I am in frank admiration of the sheer physical stamina of the man chairing the meeting, our President, Staffan Nilsson. The previous day he had been in Oslo for the peace prize ceremony. Like the other Presidents of the EU institutions, he had been at the gala dinner and participated in the subsequent torch-lit parade. And then, as he recounted, he was driven to a military airfield and flown back to Brussels, arriving here at 02.30 in the morning. My picture was taken just five hours later.