Europe is at a major crossroads in its post-World War II history. The European Union (EU) has not only successfully adopted the euro as a common currency, but it also stands upon the threshold of including 12 more member states. In this comprehensive volume, Peter Coffey examines the major issues and challenges facing Europe and presents a concise and up-to-date analysis of the economic, political and social issues facing the EU on the eve of its impending enlargement. The book is divided into five parts, with part one analyzing issues surrounding the enlargement of the EU including criteria for membership, negotiations with candidate countries and possible implications. Part two covers the euro and EMU. In part three, the author examines the major areas of reform - institutional as well as policy - and sets forth his own proposals for future policy changes. Part four reviews the European Convention, while part five looks to the future of Europe. Also included are official documents on European unification that are often difficult to obtain.
In conclusions, the author foresees that the EU will, at least for some time, become a confederation of nation states, rather than a federation as desired by some EU members.