This morning the European Parliament voted by a large majority to grant discharge to the European Economic and Social Committee and its Secretary General for the 2010 budget. The European Parliament’s press release states that: ‘By granting a discharge to an institution or agency, Parliament declares that it has spent its budget (funded by the European tax-payer) in line with EU rules. This “closes” the budget. At this stage, the Parliament can either grant or postpone discharge. MEPs act on a recommendation of the Council and base their decision on a review of the annual accounts and the Court of Auditors’ annual report.’ This is my fourth successful discharge procedure but, because of the two-year delay, only my second for years that I actually fully managed (2009 and 2010). I am happy for the Committee, its members and its staff. The credit is due to them for enabling the captain to run a good, tight ship – and a happy one!