The EESC’s Consultative Commission on Industrial Change today celebrated its tenth anniversary with a conference on the theme of ‘continuous sustainable industrial change’. The first session, chaired by CCMI Chairman Joge Pegado Liz (Various Interests Group, Portugal) and opened by EESC President Staffan Nilsson, heard from former European Commission Vice-President Viscount Etienne Davignon and Professor Ruggero Ranieri (Universities of Padua and Perugia), together with Goke Frerichs, who was EESC President at the time of the CCMI’s creation, and Enrico Gibellieri, currently a delegate to the CCMI but formerly the last ever President of the European Coal and Steel Community’s consultative committee. Their accounts together represented a fascinating slice of history. Davignon expressed sadness that the ECSC had gone (‘sometimes, when people put order in the house, they throw out good furniture,’ he said). He pointed to some of the ECSC’s special features: the member states needed a majority to reject the High Authority’s proposals; the ECSC had its own resources and autonomy in deciding how to use them; and the consultative committee, which also represented consumers, had a genuine power of concertation. Ruggero, a historian, explained that the 50 year expiry limit for the Treaty of Paris was one of a series of concessions that Monnet had made during the negotiations in order to maintain the purity of his revolutionary High Authority. And Gibellieri added that, given that there had been only twenty years between the First and the Second World Wars, a guarantee of fifty years’ peace probably seemed very generous. Davignon’s lucid analysis tangentially referred to the current situation: ‘if you decide to act together,’ he concluded, ‘you give yourself the instruments to act together.’ I had one additional pleasure: as PhD researchers, Professor Ranieri and I were direct contemporaries at the European University Institute.