Dull, complex, unique and apparently remote. Little wonder people don't understand, let alone appreciate, the European Union. Europe: The State of the Union cuts through the jargon to offer a clear and concise assessment of this unique political institution. This pioneering account explains not only what the Union is, what it does and how well it does it, but also why politicians have so little interest in explaining it to the public. Anand Menon avoids the excesses of ardent fans and sworn enemies of European integration, whose dreams of a federalist future and nightmares of a European superstate have subverted public discussion. In contrast, while pointing out the Union's shortcomings, he argues that the EU is an ingenious and necessary tool of its member states, helping them address myriad complex policy problems they would not be able to deal with alone. Europe: The State of the Union is an urgent and rigorous evaluation of the great strengths - and profound weaknesses - of the European project.