I had a working lunch today with my counterpart at the Committee of the Regions, Gerhard Stahl. We each bring along the head of our secretariat (Reinhold Gnan and Eleonora di Nicolantonio respectively), they having acted as ‘sherpas’ (if that’s not too pompous a term) in preparing the meeting. We discussed all manner of things but so well had our sherpas done their work that the only thing we had to chew on was the food (an apology to the caterers for this metaphor). The two of us, as I have explained in previous posts, must jointly manage our so-called ‘joint services’, including translation, logistics and IT, for example. We are proud of our revolutionary arrangement and determined to make it work. We can only do that by keeping in close touch on joint challenges and seeking always to find consensual solutions. Fortunately, since we have known each other since I was a young thing in the Commission’s Secretariat General and Gerhard was a young thing in the Parliament’s secretariat, this isn’t difficult!