This afternoon the EESC’s plenary session adopted a resolution on the economic and social situation in the European Union. The adoption of resolutions is provided for by the Committee’s rules of procedure but is a fairly rare occurrence. This is because all of the Committee’s mechanisms are geared towards achieving the greatest possible consensus and therefore most of its expressions (opinions, basically) are processed up towards the plenary session through preparatory and filtering mechanisms. A resolution, on the other hand, is typically adopted more rapidly, in response to a particular situation. Among the more eye-catching declarations in the resolution are an emphasis on the European Commission’s role, the importance of youth unemployment and the need for a bigger and increasing EU budget. The latter has been a consistent EESC position and reminds me of the 1977 McDougall Report’s recommendations. (The 1977 MacDougall Report, named after its chairman, an economic adviser to the CBI, was produced at the request of the Commission. It studied public finance in the context of the EEC’s move towards greater integration, concluding that the Community should be spending 2-2.5% of member states’ total GDP in a pre-federal stage; 5-7% in a federal small-public-sector stage; and up to 25% in a federal large-public-sector stage. )