Staffan New YearTradition in the European Economic and Social Committee has it that each New Year the President and the Secretary General invite all staff to a meeting for a general exchange of views, followed by a reception. This year’s meeting took place this afternoon/evening. There are never many questions on such occasions, which I take as a sign of relative good health; if people were unhappy, I am sure we would hear about it! But this year Staffan decided to ginger things up a little. In the first place, he checked whether I remembered the six priority policies of his Presidency (dialogue and participation, sustainability and growth, solidarity and development). Staffan being Staffan, he had tipped me off beforehand and my over-perfect recitation, presidential programme in hand, caused great mirth. And then he distributed envelopes among his audience. Each contained a question to him, prepared by his private staff. They were not all the easiest of questions, but Staffan had no trouble in answering them with aplomb. Then, at the end, it was my sad duty to thank Staffan for his presidency and good stewardship of the Committee, for this was his last such meeting.