CCMI Chairman Jorge Pegado Liz on the left

This morning I went before the EESC’s Consultative Committee on Industrial Change (CCMI) to wish the members and delegates well at the front end of the new mandate. The CCMI is an old stamping ground. When I was director of consultative work it fell within my responsibilities, so it was a pleasure to be back. But, as I told the Chairman, Jorge Pegado Liz (Portugal/Various Interests) and the meeting, it was also a pleasure because whenever I set foot in the CCMI I feel direct historical linkage with the first faltering steps of the European Union’s integration process in the early 1950s, for the CCMI was born out of and followed on from the old consultative committee of the European Coal and Steel Community (the Treaty on which that Community was based was for fifty years and expired in July 2002). Indeed, two of the ECSC’s distinctive flags still hang in one of the Committee’s meeting rooms.