The first edition of this book was only the second to appear in the Oxford University Press ‘New European Union’ series, after Helen and William Wallace’s milestone in the EU literature, Policy-Making in the European Union. The shelf on which these two books once sat alone now groans under the weight of no fewer than five other volumes, including a seventh version of Policy-Making (2015). Whereas we once faced ‘only’ the (already daunting) task of living up to the high standards set by Wallace and Wallace (recently joined by Mark A. Pollack and Alasdair R. Young), we now find ourselves having to be good enough to avoid letting down a stable of other authors and editors who, together, have made the New European Union series an essential set of works for any student of European integration. Quite a lot of the blame for putting us under so much pressure lies with Professor Helen Wallace, the series co-editor, whose energy, enthusiasm, razor-sharp mind, and all-around good citizenship never cease to amaze us.
We owe a large debt to our colleagues at Oxford University Press for helping to keep the project on track. Francesca Mitchell has been an absolute joy with whom to work. She has worked hard to ensure that this book, along with others in the series, finds the audience that it deserves. And the past efforts of Francesca’s predecessors—Ruth Anderson, Sue Dempsey, Angela Griffin, Sarah Iles, and Catherine Page—have not been forgotten.
Our authors have invariably worked to a high standard, while patiently coping with our active editorship and constant urgings to respect the next deadline. We have learned much from them and are enormously grateful to each for the part that they have played in making this project a success. Some of the work of some contributors to past editions—Andrew Byrne, Brian Crowe, Hussein Kassim, George Karakatsanis, Kathleen McNamara, Neill Nugent, and Michael E. Smith—may live on in this edition, so we must thank them for their past efforts.
This edition also sees Dermot Hodson take over from Michael Shackleton as co-editor. Words cannot do justice to Mike’s contribution to the first three editions of this volume. We are delighted that he has stayed on for this edition to write the chapter on the European Parliament, an institution that he understands better than anyone.
Our final expression of thanks is to our families: Elizabeth, Miles, and Calum; and Emma, William, and Hugh. Their love and support is what matters most and we dedicate this final product to them.
Dermot Hodson and John Peterson
London and Edinburgh