The meeting of the Secretaries General finished this lunchtime after two rich and dense half days of presentations and discussions. It is difficult to draw across-the-board conclusions from the proceedings: the circumstances differ considerably from member state to member state and from Council to Council. Nevertheless, it seemed that in some cases the traditional processes of dialogue and the search for consensus risked being undermined by the need for urgent responses to the economic and financial crisis. At the same time, several of the Councils have been quietly reforming themselves in order to be able to deliver shorter, punchier and earlier opinions. The European Economic and Social Committee itself falls clearly into that category.