The Routledge Guide to the European Union  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Guide to the European Union

ISBN 9781138670396
Published May 23, 2016 by Routledge
366 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations

FREE Standard Shipping
SAVE $7.99
was $39.95
USD $31.96

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Written by experts, this long-established and definitive guide to the workings of the European Union provides comprehensive, straightforward and readable coverage of this sometimes misunderstood and complex institution. It explains not only what happens but also why, and analyses the EU's strengths and weaknesses, as well as opportunities for it to be more effective. With the EU's very existence under pressure due to fiscal crises and the eurozone, migration and borders, and Euroscepticism, it specifically outlines:

  • How it works: the institutions, the mechanisms
  • Every area of EU competence from agriculture to workers' rights
  • The effects of the single market and the single currency and the successes and stresses of the eurozone
  • The impact of the enlargement of the EU and the prospects for further enlargement and for closer political integration
  • The EU under strain - the 2008 recession and after
  • 'Britain in or out'
  • Fully updated and revised material with new data, statistics, examples and non-partisan coverage

The Routledge Guide to the European Union is well-established as the clearest and most comprehensive guide to how the EU operates. This new edition brings you up to date at a crucial stage in its history at a time when, arguably, it has never been under greater threat, but conversely is perhaps more important than ever.

Table of Contents


Part I: The Background

1. The Origins

2. Evolution 1958-2010

3. The EU under strain 2008-

4. The Treaties

Part II: The Institutions

5. The Commission

6. The Council of Ministers

7. The European Council

8. The European Parliament

9. The Economic and Social Committee and The Committee of the Regions

10. The European Court of Justice

11. The Court of Auditors

12. The European Investment Bank

13. Other EU bodies

14. The Bureaucracy: facts, figures and costs

Part III: The Competences

15. Financing the Union

16. Trade

17. The Single Market

18. Competition Policy

19. Economic and Monetary Policy

20. Taxation

21. Agriculture

22. Fisheries

23. Research and Innovation

24. Regional Policy

25. Workers’ Rights

26. Energy

27. Transport

28. The Environment

29. Climate Change

30. Justice and Home Affairs

31. Consumers

32. Education

33. Women's Rights

34. Culture and The Media

35. Citizens' Rights and Symbolism

36. Development Assistance

37. Foreign, Security and Defence Policy

Part IV: Special problems

38. Enlargement

39. The UK: In or Out?

40. The Future


1. Basic statistics of EU member states

2. Presidents of the High Authority, Commission & European Council

3. The European Commission 2014-19

4. The Directorates-General and Services of the Commission

5. Addresses of main institutions & specialised agencies

6. Political party groups in the European Parliament

7. Overseas links with the EU

8. The treaties of Maastricht, Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon

9. Chronology of main events concerning the European Union

View More



Dick Leonard is a journalist, author and former Labour MP. He was Assistant Editor of The Economist for 12 years, and has also worked for The Observer, the BBC, the Fabian Society, the Centre for European Policy Studies and the Publishers Association.

Robert Taylor runs European Research Associates, a Brussels consultancy specialising in European public policy. For more than 30 years, he worked as a journalist and foreign correspondent, covering the European Union, reporting on its performance, policies and personalities.


"Ever since it was first published, Leonard’s Guide to the European Union has played an invaluable role in unravelling these mysteries and complexities [of the European Union]. It is especially valuable, and rare, for doing so in a sober, meticulous and non-partisan way… No one could be better qualified to produce an updated, authoritative and highly readable guide than Leonard and Taylor." - Bill Emmott, Editor-in-Chief of The Economist from 1993-2006.

"The Economist Guide to the EU is the best book I know that explains clearly the complexities of the EU to the intelligent layman… Curios (sic) voters will find this book a useful source of objective information about the EU, and I have no doubt that it will be respected as such by both defenders and critics of the EU. In the longer run many students, business people or politicians that need to deal with the Brussels institutions will feel that they should own this book." - Charles Grant, Director of the influential think-tank, the Centre for European Reform (CER).

"Dick Leonard's Guide to the European Union has long had a deserved reputation for clarity and reliability. His new, updated edition comes at an important moment in the history of European integration and will be a valuable aid to the public debate in Britain and throughout the European Union." – John Palmer, former European Editor of The Guardian and former Political Director of the European Policy Centre.

"An indispensable guide still highly relevant to the debate, and, arguably more important than ever. Whatever happens from now on, Brexiteers and Remainers should appreciate this wonderful guidebook, written by two of the greatest experts on the European Union.’ - William Keegan, senior economics commentator, The Observer

"In times like these, politicians, journalists and the public are desperate to find a concise but authoritative exposition of the ways and workings of the EU. In this book, they find just that: from the history of the EU, through its institutions to an examination of the competences. An invaluable guide in uncertain times!" - Kier Starmer, QC MP, and Shadow Brexit Secretary