This contribution, destined to all and any Euro-curious, whether directly or indirectly concerned, is designed to provide a concise summary of the history of the European Union. Born from a common realization – the literature on the subject is predominantly technocratic and hard to intellectually process for non-specialists – as well as a common objective – render a complex institution accessible and easy to grasp in its basic and salient traits, the authors are thrilled to be able to present this reader adapted for every interested party regardless of their background, geographic location, political affiliations and involvement in the general theme that is the European Union. It is the author’s hope that as many people use this as a tool – rightfully theirs – to position themselves on the related debates and understand them more effectively.
Starting with the rebirth of a common European vision right after WWII, the book consequently elaborates on all the vital events and treaties that have come to substantially shape the course of the European Union to the point where it is today. Due reference is devoted to the current state-of-arts of the Union too (critically, but fairly and objectively assessed). Even though the European Union considerably contributes to improved living conditions being the form and the substance for European citizens and is commonly accepted as a heavy-weight tool on the global political stage, it is yet to fully realize its capacities.
Chapter 1 begins with an overview of the relevant historical components having led to the creation and development of the European Union so as to immediately allow the reader to contextualise whilst Chapter 2 then introduces the main key Institutions of the EU in a digestible and organic way, thereby informing further the metaphorical European landscape. Chapter 3 is then dedicated to the presentation of the Economic Monetary Union, a milestone structure and rich component directly derived from the EU and virtually present throughout the whole European Continent and thus throughout the world-wide Economy. Chapter 4 is centred on the Union’s expansion in the sense of how and why the Union spread geographically and politically through the new Member States to attain its present morphology. Penultimate Chapter 5 offers a presentation of some of the most contemporaneous topics with relation to the EU’s setbacks, achievements, and reflection points derived from the 21st century movements. At last, Chapter 6 tackles the future prospects of the Union based on emerging global trends as well as past considerations.
“We finally have an all-in reader that was otherwise chronically missing in international literature. Timely as it is, it will contribute to the revitalization of a very idea of multilateralism” – Honorable Donald J. Johnston, PC OC QC. Former Minister of the Canadian Government, Secretary General of the OECD (1996-2006).
“More than ever the European integration and multilateralism needs new generations of well informed and trained practitioners and of supporting citizens” – Yves Leterme, Prime Minister of Belgium (2008 – 2011).
“The authors are to be congratulated for this very useful and readable concise story of the European Union” – Professor J. S. Younger OBE