One of the reasons I came back from Joensuu was to preside over a working lunch composed of representatives of the administrations of the European Commission and of the EESC. In particular, I was happy to be able to welcome Fernando Frutuoso de Melo, the Director in the Commission’s Secretariat General with responsibility, among other matters, for relations with the European Economic and Social Committee. In general, we enjoy excellent relations with the Commission. A framework for those relations is provided by a cooperation agreement between the two institutions. Whilst both sides are agreed that we are not yet exploiting the full potential of the agreement, we are happy to note the considerable progress that has been made. Such short-but-sweet occasions also give us an opportunity to fine tune (on programming, for example) and to swap political intelligence.