The President and I went on from the Forum to the 22nd meeting of the EESC’s Liaison Group meeting with European civil society organisations and networks. The meeting, jointly chaired by Staffan Nilsson and Jean-Marc Roirant, had two important points on its agenda. The first was a presentation and discussion of an own-initiative opinion that the Committee is preparing on the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty’s provisions on ‘participatory democracy’. As the rapporteur, Luca Jahier (picture – President of the Various Interests Group, Italy) powerfully argued, the associative world needs to be wary that these provisions, intended to be prescriptive, do not simply mutate into a description of the status quo ante, for that was clearly never the intention. If the Union is to live up to the challenge of legitimacy its Heads of State or Government identified in the December 2001 Laeken Declaration, then all of its institutions must at the least engage in a genuine dialogue with civil society. The second agenda point was a presentation by rapporteur Andris Gobins (Various Interests Group, President of the European Movement in Latvia) of his draft opinion on the European Commission’s proposal for a 2014-2020 ‘Europe for Citizens’ programme. Once again, here was an example of the EESC deliberately reaching out to involve other aspects of organised civil society in its deliberations, thus enriching the debate and fostering participatory democracy.