For five years (2008-2013) I had the privilege of acting as the Secretary-General of the European Economic and Social Committee. This blog, which I started in 2008, and which, it having served its purpose, I have allowed to lie dormant since I stepped down in 2013, was established to accompany me on that five-year journey. It was intended to show, in part, aspects of a Secretary-General’s professional life, but also the cultural hinterland that is such a pleasurable aspect of being a European and working in the EU institutions. I came to the Committee, from the European Commission, in 2003 and started my career there as Head of Communication. I was immediately struck by the absence of any reliable guide to the Committee – apart from the Committee’s own publications – and resolved to fill the gap, for I am convinced that the Committee deserves such a book. The job, alas, got busier and busier, and it was only once I had left altogether that I was able to devote myself properly to the task. Now, at long last, John Harper Publishing has brought out The European Economic and Social Committee – the House of European Organised Civil Society. Flatteringly, Martin Schulz, the President of the European Parliament, has written the Foreword to the book. He kindlily writes: “I … welcome and commend this book, which sets out in a comprehensive and comprehensible way the many different activities and functions of the European Economic and Social Committee and how this venerable body works in practice. It will surely be of good use to anybody and everybody who works with the Committee.” I have also recently published a more historical research paper at the Colleges of Europe (Bruges). The paper is entitled ‘The Antecedents, Origins and Creation of the European Economic and Social Committee,’ and seeks to show from whence, in historical terms, the concept of such a consultative body came. My hope is that these publications will foster better understanding about a venerable and complex body that has contributed much to the European integration process and certainly deserves to be better understood.