The EESC’s Bureau meeting and plenary session will take place next week. Exceptionally, the Bureau will meet on the Monday and the plenary on the Tuesday and Wednesday, rather than the Tuesday, and the Wednesday and Thursday respectively. That means that we have had to advance all of our preparatory meetings by one day, so early this morning we held our traditional preparatory management board meeting and a little later the ‘pre-session’ meeting that brings together all of the services involved in organising the Bureau and the plenary. My ‘high-tech’ photograph to illustrate this post is a photo of the screen in front of me, as chairman, of the pre-session meeting room (JDE 63, for those who like to know these things). All went well, as always. As this information briefing explains, we have European Trade Commissioner, Karel De Gucht, coming and a thematic debate about organised civil society in global governance to look forward to, in addition to the plenary’s traditional work of debating and adopting opinions. Among the latter is an opinion on the cost of ‘non-Europe’, but I’ll return to that theme in a separate post.