The wise-men group: what is it all about?
The European Council decided in December 2007 to create a 'reflection group' horizon 2020-2030. Initially presented by the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, its mandate has been watered down by the 27 Heads of States. This news intends to explain what this group will do and how it will function.
It is supposed to be an â€˜independentâ€™ group according to the conclusions of the Council.
- Chair: Felipe Gonzalez Marquez (former Spanish Prime Minister)
- Vice-Chair: Ms Vaira Vike-Freiberga (former Latvian president)
- Vice Chair: Mr Jorma Ollila (CEO Nokia)
- 9 other members selected on merits from across the Union
- Candidates or likely members: Pat Cox (former president of the European Parliament)
- Deadline: the names will be considered by the Council under the French Presidency
So far, the candidates are mainly males and gender equality is not respected. Secondly, the involvement of business representatives at such a high level could be considered as problematic from a democratic and citizenship perspective. In addition, no representative from public interest organisations are yet nominated.
Drawing on the Berlin Declaration (March 2007), the group is mandated by the European Council to identify the key challenges and developments the EU is likely to face and analyse how they can be addressed. And this, within the framework of the Lisbon Treaty.
Among others, this includes working on:
- Strengthening and modernising the European model of economic success and social responsibility;
- Enhancing the competitiveness of the EU;
- The rule of law;
- Sustainable development
- Global stability
- Energy and climate protection
- Fight against global insecurity, international crime and terrorism
- Particular attention to how to better reach citizens and addressing their expectations and needs
- Institutional reforms: they do not want to re-open the Pandora box that has been sealed with the Lisbon Treaty.
- A review of the current policies, especially enlargement and Europeâ€™s frontiers: the hot issue here concerns the accession of Turkey to the EU, where no agreement has been settled yet between the 27 Member States.
- The financial framework of the EU: The Heads of States do not want the group to open negotiations on the budget of the EU and how member states must contribute to it.
- A priori, start working at the end of the French presidency (in order to avoid interference with the ratification process)
- Report to the European Council: June 2010
- Social Platform Common position on the post-Lisbon: From 'growth and jobs' to 'Social and sustainable', December 2007
- Social Platform campaign on the Lisbon Treaty, June 2007: Social Europe is not an option, it is a priority!
- Conclusion of the European Council, 14 December 2007