This afternoon and evening I made a quick in-and-out to London, to the London School of Economics, to give the opening lecture for Michaelmas term  in a seminar series, The EU in Practice, organised at the European Institute and designed to allow practitioners to give  insights about developments in their particular part of the EU’s universe. My talk and the ensuing discussion was about the concept of participatory democracy and the way its popularity seems to have ebbed and flowed. Was the concept, as it was developed during the Convention on the Future of Europe and consolidated in the various versions of the Treaty that followed, prescriptive or descriptive? Was it a luxury item in the good times or an essential item in the not-so-good times? Naturally, I also spoke about my own institution’s role in that context.  The talk was followed by an excellent sixty minutes of questions and answers. In the picture I am flanked by the seminar’s organisers, Maurice Fraser, Senior Fellow in European Politics, and Anthony Teasdale, Visiting Senior Fellow.