Tradition has it that once a year, in January, the President and Secretary General of the EESC invite all staff to a meeting, followed by a reception. At the meeting the President and the Secretary General give brief speeches about how they see the year ahead and then field questions from the staff (and tradition has it that the President of the Staff Committee is the first to ask a question). This afternoon was my fourth such meeting. In my experience, they always go well – in no small part down to the amicable characters of our Presidents – the late Mario Sepi, and now Staffan Nilsson. I was asked what I regarded as my greatest achievement to date. My frank reply was that maintaining the good atmosphere in the house was easily my most important task and hence achievement. I have worked in enough institutions and organisations to know that such a good atmosphere is by no means guaranteed. We have it, and it is a precious thing.