The European Commission has set up a new external advisory Group of Societal Policy Analysis (GSPA). The GSPA advisory group will involve top European experts in a broad range of fields which are important to European citizens and policy makers, such as labour market and welfare reform and promoting better education and research policies.

Meetings of GSPA will be chaired by President Barroso and attended by Commissioners in charge of related portfolios.

The group, set up through the Bureau of European Policy Advisers (BEPA), will meet today for the first time in order to provide input to the Commissions thinking in two key policy areas: reform of Europes social models and improving the European higher education effort. The group is one of three external advisory groups to the European Commission, which involve experts from the fields of economics, politics and the social sciences.

The common aim of the Commission in setting up the three groups is to provide President Barroso and Commissioners with impartial expert advice before policy is formulated.