This afternoon’s plenary saw the debate and adoption of a keynote Committee opinion on the cost of non-Europe. The chairman of the study group that produced the opinion was Henri Malosse, the President of the Employers’ Group. The rapporteur of the opinion was Georges Dassis, the President of the Employees’ Group, and the co-rapporter was Luca Jahier, the President of the Various Interests Group (the latter two are in the picture). That high-level composition of the study group¬†already says something about the importance the Committee attaches to this theme. It might seem counterintuitive at a moment when Euro-scepticism is on the rise but, argue Dassis and Jahier, it shouldn’t be. ‘Europe’ should not allow itself to be portrayed constantly as an imposition of additional costs. Rather, by providing economies of scale and strength in numbers and by facilitating rationalisation and creating a large home market, Europe represents a potential for considerable gain. Hence, the absence of ‘Europe’ can be seen as a cost. The opinion identifies a number of areas in which that cost is all too evident and could be empirically proven, in the same way that the old Cecchini report was able to quantify the cost of the absence of a single market.