These two volumes -- which overlap a great deal -- provide a comprehensive and detailed account of the attempt by the European Community, now the European Union, to develop a common foreign policy despite many of its members' ambivalence and a loose institutional structure that reflects it. The academics and officials who have contributed to the second volume provide a fuller account of the historical evolution of this attempt, and a better one of the Europeans' fiascoes in Somalia and in the Yugoslav crisis, as well as of the uncertain role of the parliament and the commission and the limited effectiveness of the Western European Union in defense matters. Neither volume covers the 1997 Amsterdam agreement -- a definite, if still small, step forward. Piening, an official of the European Parliament, concludes with a plea against the unanimity rule and against a "multi-speed, multi-layered Europe." One of the editors of the other volume, Philippe de Schoutheete de Tervarent, Belgium's permanent representative to the European Union, tends to agree on the first point, but he is more willing than Piening to accept a differentiated Europe in which some countries will be able to move closer together, and faster, than the others.
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