Tonight we were at a most enjoyable dinner party where the guests around the table gradually discovered an extraordinary number of mutual acquaintanceships, many of them to do with the networks of the College of Europe, Bruges, and the European University Institute (EUI), Florence. One of the guests was Wolfgang Hager, whom I first met at the EUI in September 1981. He was then an Associate Professor in the Economics Department and I was a new researcher in the Department of Political and Social Sciences. We met rapidly because Wolfgang, who had been recruited to the EUI by the late, great Andrew Shonfield (a Professor at the EUI, he had died in January of the same year. He was chiefly known for his 1966 Modern Capitalism, but is known better among European circles to this day for his 1972 Reith Lectures, ‘Europe: Journey to an Unknown Destination’), was a political economist, and thus as present in political science seminars as pure economics workshops, and he was working on EU issues. Since then we have bumped into each other occasionally, and always amicably, as he has gone through several incarnations as academic, consultant, EU official, think tanker and, now, most attractively, in his retirement, he is a ‘liveaboarder’, which is to say that he lives on a yacht in the southern Mediterranean, sailing from port to port, eating fresh fish and playing tennis with his fellow liveaboarders (there is quite a community of them). Such a life would once have meant cutting oneself of from life but now, thanks to modern technologies, Wolfgang was as well-informed and up-to-date as any of the other guests sitting around the table.