Sunday 27 June 2010

Project Europe 2030: Three stations to oblivion or Europa rediviva?

The first station was the handing over.

On 8 May 2010, the chairman of the EU Reflection Group, Felipe González delivered the report by the Reflection Group the European Council had appointed in December 2007: Project Europe 2030.

President Herman Van Rompuy received the report on behalf of the European Council.

Distributing the report

The second stopping place was that the Reflection Group report was distributed to the heads of state or government:

Project Europe 2030 - Challenges and Opportunities 10559/1/10 REV 1

Ahead of the European Council meeting 17 June 2010, which was going to hear a presentation by González, I wondered if the report was going to get more than a kind nod before being dispatched to the burial ground for high level EU reports, the archives.

European Council conclusions

The third station of the itinerary is pictured in the conclusions of the European Council 17 June 2010 (document EUCO 13/10).

Under Other issues (point 22, on page 9), the heads of state or government used a minimalist formula to acknowledge the 18 month work of twelve Europeans of stature:

22. The European Council expresses its appreciation for the work achieved by the Reflection Group. The Group's report on "Project Europe 2030 - Challenges and Opportunities" will provide useful input for the European Union's work in the future.

Useful input?

How is Project Europe 2030 going to provide “useful input”, or has it already entered afterlife?

Let us turn to the latest programme document for the future work of the Council of the European Union:

Programme of the Belgian Presidency of the EU Council

Seek, and you shall not find any mention of the Reflection Group or Project Europe 2030.

Requiescat in pace?


Even if the European leaders seem to have inscribed the epitaph and sent Project Europe 2030 into limbo, there remains the hope of resurrection.

All the member state governments are busy preparing their macroeconomic stability or convergence programmes, synchronised with the national reform programmes (NRPs), in the framework of the Europe 2020 strategy and the integrated guidelines for economic and employment reform policies.

If ministry officials, national politicians, business groups, unions and EU cohesion policy project hosts keep the Europe 2030 report at hand as a guiding document, the work of the Reflection Group may bear some fruit.

Europa rediviva?

Ralf Grahn

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