There is a great deal of debate about the economic pros and cons of the UK’s membership of the European Union but much less information about what the EU is and what it does. This blog concentrates on the EU as a political institution. The EU is not a state but a regional international organisation. Like global international organisations it has developed a system of law which its members are supposed to obey. Like all international organisations it suffers from institutional failings, particularly when compared to the institutions normally required of a democratic state. Like all international organisations its laws are not always followed by its members.
Will the EU one day change from an international organisation to a new European state? This has been a long held ambition of some politicians and intellectuals. As presently constituted and in the current international environments there is little prospect of early realisation of that ambition.
formerly University lecturer in politics at Bristol, Bath and Cardiff Universities. From 1989-1995 Head of the Policy Unit at the Institute of Directors and 1995-2000 Director General of the National Association of Pension Funds.