The February plenary session of the European Economic and Social Committee was neatly rounded off by a visit from European Commission Vice-President Joaquin Almunia. Mr Almunia is reponsible for competition policy and he had come to the Committee primarily to talk about the Commission’s reforms on state aid. But in the ensuing question-and-answer session the debate inevitably spilled over into a broader discussion about the current economic situation and the vital importance of a functioning competition policy to enhance the prospects for growth. Indeed, the ongoing crisis was a dominant theme of the plenary’s work.  In addition to the resolution, important opinions were adopted on the European Commission’s Annual Growth Survey (rapporteur = David Croughan, Employers’ Group, Ireland), the social impact of the new economic governance legislation (rapporteur = Gabrielle Bischoff, Employees’ Group, Germany), involving civil society in financial regulation (rapporteur = Peter Morgan, Employers’ Group, United Kingdom), developing a people-orientated, grassroots approach to internal market policy (rapporteur = Jorge Pegado Liz, Various Interests’ Group, Portugal), markets in financial instruments (rapporteur = Edgardo Iozia, Employees’ Group, Italy), the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (rapporteur = Martin Siecker, Employees’ Group, the Netherlands), Europe 2020 Project Bond Initiative for infrastructure projects (rapporteur = Armin Duttine, Employees’ Group, Germany) and growth and sovereign debt in the EU (rapporteur = Carmelo Cedrone, Employees’ Group, Italy). Quite a session!