A frequently overlooked particularity of the European Economic and Social Committee is that it is composed of representatives of civil society organisations in the member states – and not, despite the adjective ‘European’, of pan-European organisations. In order to create synergies on issues of common interest, the Committee created a Liaison Group composed, on the one hand, of EESC members and, on the other, of representatives of European civil society organisations. This afternoon the Liaison Group met, co-chaired by EESC President, Staffan Nilsson, and the President of the European Civic Forum, Jean-Marc Roirant, and held in-depth discussions on the the preparation of the European Year of Citizens (2013) and on the theme of social entrepreneurship. The EESC’s rapporteurs, Andris Gobinš and Ariane Rodert, respectively, deliberately set out to consult the Liaison Group at a very early stage in their work. This was clearly appreciated and the richness of the debates gave evidence once again of the added value of such structured cooperation, cooperation that will continue, on the one hand, through a joint hearing with members of the study group  responsible for preparing the Committees’s opinion on the Commission’s proposal on the European Year of Citizens (2013) and, on the other, on the occasion of the preparation of an opinion on the communication from the Commission entitled Social Business initiative.