In the afternoon to the European Parliament for a courtesy visit and discussion with the EP’s 2010 budget rapporteur, Vladimir Manka. This will necessarily be an austerity budget adopted in a recession year and it is important that the institutions get their preliminary draft budgets right. Mr Manka’s emphasis is on interinstitutional synergies as a way of avoiding duplicating tasks and functions and hence of realising economies. Here, the EESC and its counterpart, the Committee of the Regions, are on strong ground. Notably, they share their translation and logistics functions and use the other institutions’ buildings, for example, for their plenary sessions. I am convinced this is the way of the future for all of the institutions.