Is the EU a heavy-handed bureaucracy geared to undemocratic decisions and intrusive action ? Or is it an innovative system which in subtle ways has succeeded in surmounting the antagonistic barriers associated with national borders and thereby in safeguarding peace and prosperity in Europe ? This book examines the logic and rationale of collective action at the EU level in general terms as well as in the context of macroeconomic policies and EMU, structural policies and the internal market, taxation and the Community budget. It also describes the institutional set up of economic policy decision-making in the EU, highlights differences between supranational action and intergovernmental cooperation and reviews the EU's economic performance and system of governance. Policy issues are analysed in the light of economic theory, including the macroeconomic theory of open economies, public economics and the theory of public choice. Drawing on his practical experience of EU decision-making, the author also sets out recent events and episodes that illustrate political difficulties and issues of principle.