This afternoon I gave my traditional closing address to new colleagues joining the European Economic and Social Committee’s staff. My talk comes at the end of a two day information programme, and I see my task as being to put everything in perspective. In the first place, the more I have come to know of the EESC, the more I am convinced of its unique role, derived from the authenticity of its members, who don’t get a salary and can genuinely be described as volunteers. In the second place, we put a lot of emphasis, collectively, on having a good and positive working environment in the Committee; it’s a good place to be and to work, with a happy, highly professional and efficient work force. In the third place, we are immensely privileged, both in terms of the quality of our work (working together with so many nationalities and in different languages is, of itself, I believe, a wonderful experience) and our conditions (a decent salary, a job for life and a pension afterwards is an increasingly rare phenomenon). Last but not least, we should never forget that our ultimate masters are the people, Europe’s citizens, on whose behalf we purport to work. Here endeth the sermon.