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on 2 December 2012
A dry, factual account of the history and institutions of the EU by an uncritical supporter with little discussion of the underlying philosophy and purpose of European integration and Britain's place within it.
Although published in 2010, the author gives no hint of the coming sovereign debt crisis that was on the immediate economic horizon.
This book neither encourages scepticism nor enthusiasm for the European project, merely boring the reader into indifference.
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on 23 December 2000
This is an excellent resource for students, or anyone, studying the European Union.
In typical Economist clarity and defined understanding, the book goes through all of the major policies of the EU, with a brief history at the beginning to set an understanding for the folllowing chapters.
The book also contains many excellent suggestions for futher reading on key topics, such as enlargement and the Common Agricultural Policy.
The book also discusses many topical issues of today - for example, how and should Regional Policy be improved, what are the consequences of enlarging the EU, and should the CAP be scrapped?
7 people found this helpful
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on 14 July 2006
In my opinion, this book provides an excellent view into the workings of the European Union for both those who have little knowledge of the Union and those who want to find out more detail. It covers all aspects of the union inlcuding economy, treaties, european law and european policy aswell as going through the finer points detailing the effect on the individual countries that are member nations. The book is reasonably 'wordy' so I would not recommend it for a light read ! However it is a lot less tedious than many guide books or factual books that are written on such a specific subject. Overall it is incredibly useful for anyone wanting to gain insight into the EU
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on 10 April 2003
Excellent choice if you want a general overview of EU history and institutions. Also good for preparation for an EU competition. Doesn't touch the main challenges of policy making though, apart from some issues that are important from the UK point of view.
10 people found this helpful
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on 30 January 2006
The book can be divided in three parts: history of EU integration (mostly from a British perspective, but including plenty of Thatcher-bashing), institutions (too a brief and superficial analysis) and policies (the strongest part of the book, but not entirely up to date).
The updating of the latest edition (2005) is a very poor exercise, lacking serious redefinition of priorities or themes. Parts of the text still refer to the EU-15, and treats new member states as candidate countries. Most data -including tables- is also outdated.
The book is too superficial to be used as a tool for the preparation of the EU exams. For regular readers of The Economist, the book can be disappointing, as it doesn't reflect their neutral and amusing style, nor the depth and knowledge you would expect from an EU guide. For the preparation of the EU concours, you would do better with a more serious titles, such as Dinan's "Ever Closer Union".
This book is useful if you just want to get an overview of the EU, and do not bothered if it is not entirely up to date.
13 people found this helpful
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on 26 January 2011
No doubt this was once the definitive guide. It is full of facts and makes an authoritative impression. But it is many years out of date, and so are many of its facts. Since it was written, two new member states have joined, one of the Courts has been renamed, a new Commission has taken office and, most importantly, the Lisbon Treaty has come into force, turning the old order upside down. This edition, dating from 2005, if definitely NOT recommended.
One person found this helpful
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