I am a British national who has lived, worked and studied in the UK, Italy, France and Belgium. In 2008 I was appointed Secretary General of the European Economic and Social Committee with a five-year mandate (ends September 2013). From the outset I decided to keep a blog which, I should stress, is completely private and in no way commits my institution, with a three-fold aim. First, I wanted to ‘humanise’ the position of Secretary General by giving people an idea about what I do both in and out of the office. Second, I wanted to pass the message that officials should have a life outside the office. Brussels, Belgium and the EU member states are rich in cultural and other activities. We should all be enjoying them. They are also what Europe is about. Third, I wanted to let people know that in this brave new world of the social media it is OK to be active on blogs and the social media. At these links you can see my CV and a list of my publications.