EUROPE HAS A CHOICE
     
An independent Reflection Group was established under the Conclusions of the European Council, with the objective of assisting the European Union more effectively anticipate and meet challenges in the longer term horizon of 2020 to 2030.

The group is chaired by Felipe Gonzales and has in all 12 members. It started its work in December 2008 and presented its Report “Project Europe 2030” to the European Council on May 8th 2010. Taking as its starting-point the challenges set out in the Berlin Declaration of 25 May 2007, the Group was invited to identify the key issues and developments which the Union was likely to face and to analyse how these might be addressed.

This includes, inter alia: strengthening and modernising the European model of economic success and social responsibility, enhancing the competitiveness of the EU, the rule of law, sustainable development as a fundamental objective of the European Union, global stability, migration, energy and climate protection, and the fight against global insecurity, international crime and terrorism.

Particular attention should be given to ways of better reaching out to citizens and addressing their expectations and needs.

Many people still see 2030 as a date far into the future and dismiss the validity of predictions. But we should be under no illusion. The world is experiencing a period of rapid and far-ranging global transformations which will continue to have a significant impact on the lives of our citizens.

The last twenty years may have only provided a hint of what the future has in store. The next twenty years are bound to accelerate and exacerbate many of the trends we are witnessing. Think long-term but act with determination now – this message must shape European policy- making in the current age of insecurity. In the coming years, the EU will need to pursue an ambitious agenda. It will need to bring the EU, its Member States and its citizens closer together; renew Europe’s economic and social model at a time when internal and external forces challenge its sustainability; create the knowledge society by empowering the individual; make the most of changing demographic patterns and immigration; turn energy scarcity and climate change into opportunities for societal and economic development; strike the right balance between freedom and security; and contribute to shaping the world so that Europe’s values and interests are safely taken care of.

Unofficial slides presenting the report can be find here