Michael Calingaert, who has a solid background in diplomacy and the private sector, in 1988 published a very useful book called The 1992 Challenge from Europe. This new volume is a sober, succinct, and thoughtful survey of the latest developments in European integration, of the post-Maastricht accomplishments, failures, and problems of the European Union, and of the EU's relations with the United States. The author is reasonably optimistic about the prospects for monetary union, lucid about the many cleavages between the EU's members, and convinced that "the pretense of a homogeneous union in which all member states, over time, follow the same policies and participate in the same programs" will have to be given up and that increasing institutional differentiation will occur. Skeptical about the American idea of a Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement, he prefers an "incremental process" in economic and political cooperation between the EU and the United States. For a rigorously objective and comprehensive analysis of the current state of the EU, readers should begin with this volume.
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