The European Union is facing a profound crisis and is confronted with multiple challenges. Over the last two decades, it has experienced a series of dramatic changes to its powers, its institutional design, its constitutional framework and its borders. The current political, economic and financial crisis puts the EU’s legitimacy further under pressure and creates the impression of a turning point.

This book provides a concise analysis of the EU and its dynamics by paying particular attention to its day-to-day operation. It aims to help students and scholars understand its evolution, its institutions, its decision-making and the interactions between the EU and various actors. Avoiding abstract theorizing, the authors propose an easy to read analysis of how the Union works while recognizing the complexity of the situation. Throughout the book, the key issues of European integration are addressed: democratic deficit, politicization, the role of member states, institutional crisis and citizen involvement.

This edition has been fully updated to include:

  • Brexit, the migration crisis as well as the consequences of the 2014 EP elections for all the EU institutions;
  • An in-depth analysis of the 2014 EU elections;
  • More empirical data across the board;
  • New developments in EU decision-making such as the trialogues, and differentiated integration;
  • More in-depth discussion of the role of interest groups in EU policy-making.

This text is of key interest to students, scholars and readers interested in European Union politics and studies.

chapter |17 pages


chapter 1|31 pages

A political system forged by history

chapter 3|39 pages

Executive power

chapter 4|59 pages

The legislative power

chapter 5|15 pages

Organs of control

chapter 6|34 pages

Other organs involved in EU policy making

chapter 7|40 pages

Decision-making in the European Union

chapter 8|21 pages

EU decision-making models

chapter |10 pages