No fatal predictions or cosmic revelations are to be found in the report, due to be handed over by González to European Council President Herman Van Rompuy on 8 May, when EU institutions open their doors to citizens for Europe Day.
Its authors (see 'Background') have nevertheless produced a text which represents "both consensus and compromise" and carries clear messages, such as the assertion that the EU stands "at a crucial point of its history".
The EU can be an agent of change in the world rather than a passive witness, the group argues, listing choices to be made today that in their opinion will affect the Union's capacity to act in 2030.
Strengthening economic governance is primary among the report's recommendations. This hardly comes as a surprise, given that González had given his full support to the current Spanish EU Presidency's major objective of reinforcing "European economic government" and improving coordination of the EU's common policies in economic affairs and employment (EurActiv 04/01/10).
"We need to: include in the Union's convergence criteria measures to correct the losses in competitiveness reflected in balance of payments and current account deficits; adopt instruments for ensuring monetary stability; reform the functioning and supervision of our financial institutions ahead of the G20," the text reads.
The Reflection Group also advocates a highly competitive and sustainable social market economy for the sake of social cohesion and environmental protection. This, in their view, will require an ambitious reform programme and a system of incentives, building on the draft 'Europe 2020' strategy.
Drawing on recent recommendations from former European Commission President Jacques Delors and European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek (EurActiv 06/05/10), the Reflection Group stresses the need for the EU to implement a common energy policy. The need to embark on serious discussions about safe nuclear energy is also highlighted.
The group calls on the EU to assume a more assertive role in world affairs. Stopping short of discussing enlargement, the report's summary develops the idea that the wellbeing and security of Europeans are linked to those of their neighbours, with whom closer cooperation is needed.
But none of the objectives listed can be achieved without strengthening the ties that bind the EU to its citizens, the authors of the report write.
Mirroring recent calls for the new European Commission to address the real-life, practical problems faced by European citizens, the Reflection Group stresses that social, civil, family and employment rights should accompany them wherever they move within the EU.
They also argue in favour of better partnerships between different levels of power – national, regional and local, and call for the creation of genuine opportunities for citizens to participate in political life.