Five years ago the European Union’s institutions agreed to establish a common school to provide training and development opportunities to staff at various levels and at various stages of their careers. The European Administrative School is already five years old and this morning the school organised a conference to celebrate its birthday. Unfortunately, I could not attend the whole conference but I was able to make it in time for the keynote address of Maros Sefcovic, European Commission Vice-President. He pointed to a number of challenges facing the institutions’ administrations. One of the most worrying is a demographic trend that will see the older institutions lose a vast swathe of their middle and senior management over the next ten years. The EAS and its sister organisation, the European Personnel Selection Office, will play key roles in rising to that challenge.