budapest1The Budapest meeting was, from the EESC’s point of view, also important because of all of the ‘bilaterals’ that went on in the margins of the meetings proper. ‘Bilaterals’ are standard international jargon for one-on-one meetings, though the term is more loosely used nowdays. Thus, I accompanied the President and other members to the following ‘bilaterals’ during our two-day presence in Budapest: ‘the Chinese’ (the China Economic and Social Council’; ‘the Russians’ (the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation); ‘the Ukrainians’ (the National Tripartite Social and Economic Council of Ukraine); and Monaco (yes, it has an economic and social council). There were also meetings with the French Economic, Environmental and Social Council, the next ‘troika’ of the Spanish, Belgian and Hungarian Councils, Professor Rodriguez and various other officials and VIPs. Not bad when you consider all of these were done during lunch- and tea-breaks!