Sick friend aside, this was a heavy week. On Tuesday, 1st September, the Enlarged Presidency met to discuss a number of strategic issues related to the European elections and the expected arrival in the not-too-distant future of a new Commission. Lisbon Treaty or not, the Committee is well-placed to provide an important supporting role in building up a structured dialogue with civil society. On Tuesday, 2nd September I went to the Rules of Procedure Committee in the morning to speak to a rule change proposed by the administration to align the appointing powers for the President and the Secretary General with the provisions of the staff regulations. In terms of rule changes, it is interesting to compare our institution with the European Parliament. It has a standing committee for changes, whereas in the Committee’s culture rule-changes remain rare and therefore ‘heavy’. That would have been enough for a heavy day, but in the afternoon we had a concertation meeting with the Committee of the Regions and the trades unions to broker a final deal on introducing flexitime. It is a particularity of the joint services arrangement that all such concertations are triangular (between the two institutions and their administrations as well as with the trades unions). Everybody was in constructive mode and a deal was reached, leaving me in an excellent mood to go off and give a talk over dinner to a Brussels Academy high-flyers programme. It was one of those ‘Chatham House rules’ discussions – always enjoyable – but I hope I left them with some curiosity about the European Economic and Social Committee.