The Reflection Group on the future of Europe in 2020-2030, chaired by former Spanish Socialist Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez, will present its conclusions in March or June. These will be wide-ranging but will not address institutional or budget issues or the EU's borders.

Gonzalez admits that "the mandate is very clear on what we cannot address but is a bit vaguer on what we can". From the outset, the committee's remit, which is supposed to look ahead into the future, has sparked debate. The idea of setting up the group was suggested by Nicolas Sarkozy in August 2007, with the hidden agenda of discussing Turkish membership, to which the French president has always voiced opposition. In the end, due to pressure from pro-enlargement countries, the group was put in place, but its remit was to a large extent emptied of substance. It was decided that the 12 committee members, selected from non-institutional circles, would not have to discuss the issue of future enlargements or institutional and budgetary reforms, but simply identify the key subjects that the EU will be addressing in the coming years.

After several meetings, the committee selected five issues for reflection: the European economic and social cohesion model, energy and the fight against climate change, migratory flows in Europe and the response to demographic needs, security against terrorism and organised crime, and European identity and ties with citizens.

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