At midday today I met with my counterpart in the Committee of the Regions, Gerhard Stahl, for a spot of violin tuning. Both Committees are currently heading into the 2013 budget drafting exercise. Because we pool so many of our resources together in our Joint Services, we have to tune our violins – by which I mean ensure that our general approaches are consistent and coherent. Otherwise, our budgetary strategies would be asymetrical and inefficient. But more generally both institutions – like all EU institutions – face the reform proposals tabled by the European Commission as part, inter alia, of a response to the serious economic and social situation in the Union and its member states. Once again, and in the spirit of the cooperation agreement between the two Committees, it is important that we tune our violins about tactics and strategies and general approaches.