From the launch of the art exhibition we moved on to the opening of a Polish cultural evening at the Committee, to mark the beginning of the Polish Presidency. The evening was opened by our President, Staffan Nilsson, by the Polish agriculture minister, Marek Sawicki, and by the Polish permanent representative to the EU, Jan Tombinski (in the picture, Tombinksi is speaking, with Sawicki behind him with an interpreter), and then the evening got under way with a jazz trio and, later, a pianist, Anna Ciborowska¬†(playing the most wonderful Chopin – of course!). The Polish regions had brought display stands and there were generous quantities of Polish food and drink, including excellent wine. Most importantly, there was conversation and interaction. Tombinski is, quite rightly (and despite the fierce personal workload the Presidency imposes), taking a ‘business as usual’ and ‘teamwork’ approach to the Presidency, but I remember attending a Salzburg seminar in the early 1990s with central and eastern European fellows, including young, dynamic, enthusiastic Poles,¬†participating for the first time, ever, where we dreamt about a unified Europe and I think that for a Polish presidency to be considered business as usual is just brilliant.