The members of the European Economic and Social Committee are appointed for a mandate (previously of four years and now, under the new Treaty, of five years). Technically-speaking, it is the Council (Article 302) that adopts ‘the list of members drawn up in accordance with the proposals made by each Member State’ but, as that language implies, the proposals made by each government are rarely, if ever, questioned. The next mandate of the Committee starts this October, and the Council has set 31 May as the indicative deadline for the Member States’ proposals. So far, we are aware of two country lists. In one case, ‘turnover’ will be just 8%. In the other, turnover will be 78%! Renewal is always a big challenge for the administration. New members have to be smoothly inducted and shown the ropes in such a way that the Committee can continue to function optimally. And, in terms of the basic relationship between membership and administration, we will never get a second chance to make a first impression. The administration has therefore been very hard at work, preparing for the renewal period and process. Last Wednesday I chaired the fourth meeting of our renewal task force. It was a dream of a meeting and left me feeling immensely proud and satisfied; it was so well prepared and productive. The overall vision is of a ‘one stop shop’. We may not have the resources of a European Parliament but we do have resourcefulness in great and creative quantities.