I invited the Committee’s previous President, Dimitris Dimitriadis, to lunch. I joined the Committee in 2003 and have worked closely with four Presidents: Roger Briesch, Anne-Marie Sigmund, Dimitris Dimitriadis and now Mario Sepi. I see them as repositories of experience and knowledge about the Committee and am always happy to listen and learn from them. Dimitris explained to me how he had adjusted back to ‘normal’ life after spending so much time on his presidential duties for two years. A businessman and entrepreneur, with a small family firm, it had taken him two months to re-establish the balance that had existed before he became President. I never stop stressing the point that our members are volunteers who receive no payment from the EU for what they do. Here was further evidence of the hidden costs they have to bear in order to carry out their duties. I should stress that he wasn’t complaining but whenever I hear these sorts of anecdotes I think that the Committee ought to be better known, if only because the enthusiastic work of its members provide a perfect antidote to the Euro-cynical view of the EU institutions as one big gravy train.