My flight arrived at 09.20, Belgian time, and I went straight to the office and back into the brutal reality of a probable zero growth budget and its consequences. Already, in New York, my President and I discussed strategy and tactics. Back in Brussels, I relayed our considerations to the Vice-President with responsibility for the budget, Seppo Kallio, and the man, Staffan Nilsson, who, as the probable next President of the Committee, will have to preside over a Committee which was ready, willing and able to take on the role and activities prescribed for it by the Lisbon Treaty but which will get no new resources to do them. Even as we were discussing matters the Parliament, Council and Commission were negotiating an inter-institutional agreement about the new post-Lisbon budgetary procedure which, predictably, made no mention of the other institutions. The situation will be discussed next week by the enlarged Presidency and subsequently by the EESC’s Bureau. Watch this space!