Agenda 2000: For a Stronger and Wider Union

In This Review

Agenda 2000: For a Stronger and Wider Union

By the European Commission
European Commission, 1997
138 pp. $7.50
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Two especially noteworthy developments are likely in Europe during the coming years: the creation of a common currency by 2002 and the enlargement of the European Union by up to 13 additional countries. Enlargement will require significant changes in how the EU operates and even greater adjustments in the economies and societies of successful applicants. Agenda 2000 sketches these challenges and makes proposals for policy change through 2006. It has both the advantages and disadvantages of an official document: sometimes deadening committee prose, but for that reason an authoritative voice. The book discusses the five first-round candidates and Cyprus but suggests other countries may be close behind. Turkey is treated judiciously. Because the treaties of Maastricht and Amsterdam extend the EU far beyond economics, much space is devoted to social issues, crime, justice, the environment, and nuclear safety, as well as the well-known matters requiring major adaptation, especially the EU budget and the Common Agricultural Policy. The amount of space devoted to noneconomic issues is indicative of the distance the EU has moved past a mere common market, although economic issues remain at the core of the EU's decision-making.