This morning the EESC’s plenary session hosted the Danish Minister of European Affairs, Nicolai Wammen, representing the Danish Presidency of the Council of the EU, a Presidency which has just got under way and in the most testing of circumstances. In his opening remarks he nicely and neatly summed up the role of the Committee: ‘You offer important advice on a regular basis to Europe’s policymakers. You represent millions of workers, employers and civil society groups, who all keep the wheels of Europe turning at this critical juncture in our history. In short, the Economic and Social Committee is an influential partner for any EU Presidency. But let me take this opportunity to inform you that the Danish Presidency considers you more than an influential partner. Because of the exceptional economic and social challenges facing Europe today, the Danish Presidency regards you as a key partner in our efforts to help Europe deal with the current economic crisis.’ Wammel argued passionately that austerity must come also with growth creation. ‘This,’ he argued, ‘is a time when Europe must work together. Sometimes this is less true and sometimes it is more true, but today it couldn’t be more true.’