European Union. The basics

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Publication Date 2004
ISBN 0-415-30331-1 (Hbk); 0-415-30330-3 (Pbk)
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There is a well known advertising phrase that runs 'it does what it says on the ...'. This book does what it says on the cover. It presents an introduction to the basics of the European Union - in other words, it is a primer over which the reader may be prompted to lay further coats of reading and research.

The work is organised over six chapters supplemented by helpful appendices. The first chapter is by way of introduction to the content and methodology. Chapter two looks at the development of European integration from the 1940s to the present time. Chapter three covers the EU institutions, setting out their roles and functions and answering the questions of why and how. Major policies of the EU are the focus of chapter four which explores such areas as the Common Agricultural Policy, the single currency and the single market. The problem areas of governance, democracy, division of power, enlargement and the budget are discussed in chapter five, which also goes on to examine the Convention on the Future of Europe and the Draft Constitution. Chapter six draws together the major points covered in the book and place them in a theoretical context, and also offers some signposts as to the way forward.

The book will be helpful for those beginning their studies of the EU or the 'intelligent lay person' seeking a similar introduction to the key issues on the EU agenda.

Alex Warleigh is Professor of International Politics and Public Policy at the University of Limerick.

There is a second edition of this title published in 2008.

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