A French-inspired idea to sketch the best political recipe for how to deal with Europe's future challenges - the EU reflection group - will be chaired by Spain's former prime minister Felipe Gonzalez.
Latvia's former president Vaira Vike-Freiberga and Nokia's chief Jorma Ollila will be the group's vice-chairs. According to Czech deputy prime minister Alexandr Vondra, the group of about nine members, including the three top figures, is expected to start its work during the French presidency in 2008.
It was German Chancellor Angela Merkelwho suggested the time frame in order to avoid the group interfering with the upcoming ratification process of the Treaty of Lisbon, formally signed off on 13th December.
The panel is expected to report its findings in June 2010, although it should avoid discussing "the EU's finances, enlargement and institutional issues", according to Mr Vondra. One diplomat noted, however, that the mandate also…