I spent the whole of the day (from 09.30 till 18.00) in the EESC’s Budget Group. I read an interview with Sebastian Coe somewhere in which he explained his working philosophy as being: ‘every day you have to add value, every day you have to have purpose’. Well, this was a day with great purpose and that added much value. Together with the EESC’s Vice-President with responsibility for budgetary matters, Seppo Kallio, we are trying to build a new, far more transparent and rational way of setting the Committee’s budgetary strategy and this necessarily involves a new relationship between the members and the administration that is there to serve them. The morning half of the meeting involved a rich and rewarding ‘hearing’ with the Committee’s Vice-President with responsibility for communication, the Presidents of the Committee’s Groups, the Presidents of its Sections and the President of its Consultative Committee on Industrial Change – in other words with all of the spending actors on the political side of the Committee’s activities. In the afternoon the Group started to consider the basis for a budgetary strategy for 2010 and the years beyond that. I went back to my office afterwards with that rewarding feeling one has after ‘a good day’s work’ and it was sufficiently strong to cancel out the traditional sense of trepidation at the mountains of files and e-mails that I knew I would find upon my return.