The European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions together manage an innovative experiment in pooling resources so as to realise economies of scale. These Joint Services (particularly translation and logistics) were established by a Cooperation Agreement between the two Committees and their management is overseen by a series of inter-institutional bodies at administrative and political level. As a result, those parts of our management structures that are involved in these joint bodies see a lot of each other. On the other hand, those parts of our management structures that are not involved see very little of each other. This is only logical; they are, in effect, managing different institutions. However, my counterpart at the CoR, Gerhard Stahl, and I are convinced that even these ‘services propres’ should occasionally meet together in order to discuss joint challenges. Such was the case this afternoon. On the agenda were such issues as business continuity and electronic filing. They sound innocuous and uninteresting as topics, but behind them lie major strategic decisions about, for example, investment in software systems or decisions not to allow processes to diverge too sharply for common responses to be possible. The atmosphere was excellent, if critical, with a reassuringly healthy determination not to ‘over-bureaucratise’ matters.