This afternoon’s plenary session got under way with a commemoration of our former President Mario Sepi, who was snatched away from us unexpectedly on 10 October. Current President Staffan Nilsson, who worked with Mario when he was the Employees’ Group President and then when he became President of the Committee, led the tributes. After a minute’s silence Georges Dassis, current President of the Employees’ Group was followed by Henri Malosse (President of the Employers’ Group) and Luca Jahier (President of the Various Interests Group) in paying tribute to a man who, in addition to his many professional and political achievements, was truly a good friend. Solemn and intensely sad though the commemoration was, I have chosen to illustrate this post with a happier photograph. As Secretary General, I worked very closely with Mario, and for me one of his great and most attractive attributes was his sense of humour. In the picture, Mario, as President, has just awarded himself a medal for long service. (We had forgotten to ask ourselves who would give the President himself his reward.) Typically, the result was not a grimace of irritation but a giggle, followed by a spontaneous outburst of laughter all round. Caro Mario!