Yesterday evening, thanks to the generosity of our Maltese hosts, I was given the opportunity of presenting myself, as new EESC SG, to all the SGs of the national Economic and Social Councils. All went well. This was followed by a delicious meal, offered by our hosts, in the ancient and picturesque city of Mdina. My neighbours at the dinner table were the SGs of the Bulgarian, Dutch, Finnish and Irish Councils and we had a simply fascinating discussion about the very different roles, functions and prerogatives of our respective Councils/Committees. I am at the moment writing a book about the European Economic and Social Committee. I had always intended there to be a chapter about the consultative/advisory function at Member State level, but as I listened to my fascinating neighbours I kept revising upwards the word count for the chapter!