Spain took on 1st January the European Union's six-month rotating presidency, marked by the first steps of the Union's first-ever permanent president and foreign affairs chief and efforts to lift Europe out of its worst recession in decades.
The European Council of 14 December 2007 decided to establish a "reflection group" of prominent personalities, also called ‘wise men’, to identify the key issues which the Union is likely to face in the future and how these might be addressed. Former Spanish Prime Minister Felipe González was named chair of the group.
In June, Spain will also celebrate 25 years from the signing of its Accession Treaty. The country, which has benefited enormously from its EU membership, is widely seen as one of the greatest promoters of the advance of the EU integration.