This afternoon I accompanied my President, Mario Sepi, on a formal visit to the new President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy. Sepi spoke about the importance of fleshing out the concept of participatory democracy and of the important role, in that context, of the EESC. But there were also discussions about effective strategies for getting out of the economic and financial crisis and the European Commission’s new 2020 strategy (which is designed to follow on from the Lisbon Strategy). This was a first formal meeting and a good one.