The present volume brings together a collection of fifteen contributions both by well-known scholars and young researchers from Norway, Spain, Portugal, the Czech Republic, the United States, Germany, Ireland, and Romania, focused on various political, legal, social, and economic aspects of the contemporary European Union.
The book is divided into two parts, the first one examining different EU actors, policies, and politics, from the rule of European capitalism to integration challenges, from the discourse on migration to the reform prospects of the common agricultural policy, from threats to competitiveness to the EU's educational policies, from the potential election of the Commission president to the role of parties in the current European political landscape, and from rural and urban well-being across the Union to more technical EU law aspects.
The second part looks into the role of the European Union as a regional and global actor from a few broader perspectives, dealing with several difficult trials it now faces, from the Eurasian challenge embodied by Russia and China to its current problematic relationship with both its eastern neighbour (the Russian Federation) and its long-time transatlantic partner (the United States), and from its role as mediator in the Serbian-Kosovar reconciliation to its stance regarding the Republic of Moldova's European aspirations and their impact on the identity discourse in the small autonomous region of GAEgAEuzia.
The contributions are based on multidisciplinary perspectives from the fields of law, political science, economics, social policy, and international relations, forming a cohesive and coherent collection that provides the reader with many relevant perspectives on some of the European Union's most challenging contemporary policies, as well as on its role as a key regional and global player in a world beset by levels of instability, uncertainty, and threat seldom seen before in recent history.
The EU's domestic problems, ranging from the rise of populism to growing Euroscepticism in almost all member states, and from increasing public disillusionment with politicians and political processes to the never-ending chaos of Brexit, coupled with its continued inability to speak with a strong, unified voice in matters of foreign policy and international crises means that this political structure formed in the early 1950s to guarantee peace in Western Europe, which later evolved into the intricate confederative framework we know today, is facing deep, uncharted waters that may well prove difficult to navigate.
The present volume aims to provide a few answers to the most pressing questions confronting today's European Union.