In a closing press conference of the European Council Portugal’s prime minister Jose Socrates highlighted his country’s achievements including overcoming the institutional impasse and holding an EU-Africa summit and sketched the Presidency’s conclusions.
Among them was the establishment of an reflection group on the future of Europe that will deal with challenges in a mid-term 2020-30 perspective. The body, mooted by the French president Nicolas Sarokozy will be chaired by former Spanish prime minister Felipe Gonzalez, with two vice-presidents: the Finnish former president of Nokia, Jorma Ollila, and former Latvian president, Vaira Vike-Freiberga. Baptized as the “wise man” group, it will consist of 6 more members appointed later by the Council, and present its report in June 2010.
The member states also approved a British-born positive declaration on globalization, stating that the EU should grasp the opportunities it offers, and aim to shape it.
Moreover, the Council agreed to deploy a civilian mission to Kosovo, however not being able to agree on how to react if the Serbian province declares independence. This issue will be addressed shortly the United Nation’s Security Council with European Council’s support “to guarantee peace, security and development in that region” as Jose Socrates put it. The Presidency conclusions underline however, that resolving the status of the province is a sui generis case and does not set a precedent, feared buy some European states with separatist movements.
Among other decisions adopted was the change of composition of the European Parliament (73 MEP will come from Italy), a mandate for the Commission to present a Baltic Sea strategy and new measures concerning migration policy.