The Committee’s Bureau met this afternoon and addressed itself to a rich and dense agenda. One of the highlights of the meeting was a presentation by European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic of the Commission’s 2014 work programme. This was not a public meeting but I am giving no secrets away by writing that the Commissioner happily stayed for over two hours and responded in detail to all of the questions and points that were put to him. Such occasions are the embodiment of one of the provisions of Article 11(2): namely,  ‘The institutions shall maintain an open, transparent and regular dialogue with representative associations and civil society.’ The Vice-President was also fulfilling the Commission’s commitment, set out in the revised Protocol of Cooperation with the EESC, to present the annual work programme to the Committee.