This morning I had the pleasure and privilege of welcoming and talking to a fact-finding delegation from the recently-established Moroccan Economic and Social Council, led by its distinguished President, Mr Chakib Benmoussa. The delegation is in Brussels for a three day visit featuring meetings with the European Union and Belgian institutions. The Moroccan ESC was officially inaugurated on 21 February 2011 and is thus a very young institution on a learning curve. In the discussion the representatives asked questions that demonstrated to me that, whatever their specificities, all consultative bodies are part of the same family and face very similar challenges in, for example, fostering consensus, ensuring representativity and measuring impact. The European Economic and Social Committee is delighted to host our Moroccan guests and accompany them throughout their visit and, indeed, to assist and support their institution as we can, convinced that the consultative function plays an important flanking role. I was thrilled at the end to receive from President Bemoussa the Moroccan Council’s first two opinions (both own-initiative) on youth employment and for a new social charter.