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17 July 2011

An A-to-Z guide to the European Union

Anyone trying to get their head around the nuts and bolts of the towering edifice that is the EU could not wish for better than the newly-published fourth edition of the Dictionnaire de l’Union européenne (Dictionary of the European Union) – an 1149-page comprehensive survey with more than 600 definitions and references to 1600-odd pieces of legislation and regulations.

Not really a book for the beach, but an essential reference work for the lay reader trying to cut rapidly through the maze of EU institutions. The book includes details on the Lisbon Treaty and the "Europe 2020" programme to achieve a “sustainable social market economy”, as well as advances in the European corpus on relatively new issues like sustainable development. Those without an insider’s knowledge of EU affairs – which means most of us – can at last find out what ‘subsidiarity’ is all about, and will learn that Matthaeus is not the name of a former Bundesliga star but a European programme for exchanges and training of customs officials.

Dictionnaire de l’Union européenne, by Christophe Degryse, Editions Larcier, Brussels, 2011, p. 1149. Published in French only.

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