The European Union is perhaps the least well understood political system in the world today. Europe: The State of the Union cuts through the jargon to offer a clear and concise assessment of this unique institution. This pioneering account explains not only what the EU is, what it does and how well it does it, but also why politicians have so little interest in explaining its workings to the public. Anand Menon avoids the excesses of both ardent Europhiles and sworn enemies of European integration, whose respective dreams of a federalist future and nightmares of a European superstate have so subverted public discussion. While pointing out the Union's shortcomings, he argues that the EU is an ingenious and necessary tool of its member states, helping them address myriad complex policy problems they would not be able to handle alone. Europe: The State of the Union is an urgent and rigorous evaluation of the great strengths - and profound weaknesses - of European integration.