Normally the Committee’s Bureau meets on the eve of its plenary sessions. But twice a year it holds so-called ‘extraordinary meetings’, sometimes in Brussels, sometimes elsewhere (when linked to an event). This year the Committee will have held three such meetings, for in October, just a few days after the Irish people voted in favour of the Lisbon Treaty, President Mario Sepi convoked an additional extraordinary meeting of the Bureau to debate how the Committee should respond to the challenges and potential of the Treaty. This afternoon’s Bureau meeting followed up on that debate, basing its deliberations on a series of concrete proposals tabled by the President. More generally, the Bureau’s meeting was entirely devoted to forward-looking themes, with additional documents being debated and approved on the incoming European Commission’s five-year workplan and the Gonzalez’ reflection group on the Union’s medium-term future. As a headline, ‘consensus broke out’ would never sell newspapers but, nevertheless, gratifyingly, that’s what happened this afternoon.