The European Union Handbook, 2nd ed.

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Publication Date 2002
ISBN 1-57958-223-0
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Book abstract:

Since this book was first published in 1996 there have been a number of notable developments in the European Union - the treaties of Amsterdam and Nice, the introduction of the euro, the adoption of a Charter of Fundamental Rights are but a few. The second edition has been expanded to cover these significant developments and a number of policy areas, which were omitted from the first edition, such as the environment, justice and home affairs and the EU's relations with developing countries have been included.

Divided into six main sections, each with a number of chapters, the book tackles specific areas in turn beginning with a discussion of the history and context of the EU. Theories of political integration and the evolving political nature of the Union are examined in the second part along with the challenges of democracy, Euroscepticism and enlargement. The focus shifts to economics in the third part, which again begins with a chapter on theories and then moves on to look at the single market, economic and monetary union, the budget and a number of key policy areas. Law and society are the topics discussed in part four with an analysis of the EU's legal system, the enforcement of Community law in the Member States, the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and cultural issues. The EU's relations with the United States, Russia, the Mediterranean and developing countries are all discussed in part five which also looks at the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the EU in the world trading system. The final part of the book looks to the future and the EU's potential political structure, will it be federal or intergovernmental?

Each chapter benefits from a guide to further reading and there is also an extensive guide to electronic sources of information on the European Union at the back of the book. There is also a useful chronology and glossary, which helps to explain the many acronyms and specialised terms associated with the EU.

The book will provide students of European politics with a highly readable source which covers the key issues concerning the European Union at the beginning of the 21st Century.

Jackie Gower is Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Kent at Canterbury where she teaches European Politics.

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