The Committee’s May plenary session got under way this afternoon. It kicked off with a debate to follow up on last week’s Biennial Conference in Florence, before debating and adopting opinions on: the professionalisation of domestic work (rapporteur: Béatrice Ouin, Employees’ Group, France); collective civil society initiatives for sustainable development (Raymond Hencks, Employees’ Group, Luxembourg); EU-ASEAN relations (Claudio Capellini, Various Interests Group, Italy); international trade and climate change (Evelyne Pichenot, Various Interests Group, France); socially-responsible financial products (Carlos Trias Pinto, Various Interests Group, Spain); and an integrated approach to urban regeneration (Angelo Grasso, Various Interests Group, Italy). I wouldn’t normally list opinions in that way but there are two noteworthy aspects of this afternoon’s activities. The first is that, with the exception of Angelo Grasso’s opinion, all of the others are what we call ‘own-initiative’ opinions – in other words, opinions on topics where the Committee feels that the voice of organised civil society should be heard. (And the exception is what we call an ‘exploratory opinion’ requested by the Spanish Presidency.) The second is that every single one of these opinions was, for me, an excellent read. Now, I don’t mean that in a condescending way but rather that the afternoon’s collection of opinions was an illustration of the way in which our modern world has become so complex, with so many important developments or trends requiring attention all occurring simultaneously.