President Sepi nipped out of our Bureau meeting this afternoon for an hour for a bilateral meeting with José Manual Barroso at the Berlaymont. On the agenda: the Commission’s draft EU 2020 strategy; planning an exit from the current crisis; and fleshing out the concept of participatory democracy (and, in particular, the provisions of Article 11 in the Lisbon Treaty). These informal tête-à-têtes are a favoured way for our President to set out the Committee’s stall. I sense that this is a growing trend among all the Presidents of the EU’s institutions. The President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, for example, has made a point of frequent meetings with the President of the Commission and the Parliament and, as you know from a previous post, has already seen Mario Sepi. I suspect this is a consequence of the growing complexity and size of the EU’s institutions. Such one-on-ones, even if officials are in the room, restore the human dimension.