The European Economic and Social Committee’s main decision-making body, the Bureau, met again this afternoon. A primary purpose of such meetings is to prepare the following days’ plenary session, but there tend also to be one or more political discussions on important themes and topics. This afternoon, budgetary matters were much to the fore, but there was also a discussion on how the Committee needs to adapt its working methods so as to deliver its opinions in a timely fashion to the European Parliament. Consultation of the Committee by the European Parliament was an innovation of the Lisbon Treaty and is a growing phenomenon. As a quid pro quo, however, the Parliament imposes a three-month deadline on the Committee (which is entirely understandable, given the time pressure it is itself under in the ordinary legislative procedure), hence the discussion about how the Committee could meet such deadlines whilst maintaining the quality of its opinions.