As its title suggests, the Little Guide to the European Union aims to introduce a wide audience to the main features of European politics.
Its focus is on those items in EU affairs that enjoy a high degree of constancy. That are more or less permanent. Current issues, as these unfold in the news, have been intentionally omitted to help streamline the book’s message. The underlying assumption is that an understanding of the general makes it easier to comprehend the particular, while the opposite may not be true. Knowing, for instance, the specifics of the March 2016 EU-Turkey deal does not offer any insight as so why the European Council concluded the negotiations or why the European Commission is working on implementing its provisions.
This book does not exhaust the topic it seeks to analyse. It is not intended to be the one-and-only book a citizen has to read, nor is it a beginner’s manual to European politics. All it provides is a guide for the politically minded to pursue further studies on their own. It is an intermediate point between research cycles.
The Little Guide is delivered to the public free of charge. That probably is the most pronounced form of idealism it partakes of. Everyone with access to the internet should have the chance to read it, learn from it, and expand upon it. Knowledge of this sort need not be confined to inner circles or hidden behind paywalls. What I gain in return is, at the very best, a slightly improved chance at the labour market.
Though this is not an exhaustive list, and with the risk of unintentionally omitting to mention someone, I wish to express my gratitude to:
- All those behind the official EU websites for providing most, if not all, of the primary information used to produce this book.
- Dr. Alexander Apostolides (@alexapostolides on Twitter) for his enthusiasm and support over the years.
- Hans Mund for his laudable efforts to raise awareness of the European Union and improve its transparency by connecting all the relevant sources of information, both private and public, via his spreadthenews.eu platform.
- Gerald-Christian Heintges and Dr. François Mennerat for setting up EurAssoc, as well as for their overall devotion to the empowerment of an EU civil society and the realisation of a European res publica.
- Jakub Jermář for his insightful views on federalism and the establishment of a European Federal Republic as distinct from the Treaties-based model of the EU.
- Thomas Fazi for his extensive commentary on the European Union and the euro, as well as his constructive criticism of certain idealist tendencies of the European Left.
- The people at OneEurope, especially those I know best, Ivan Botoucharov and Cherian Grundman, for their contributions towards the emergence of a European public sphere and for their positive attitude in fostering an open debate about Europe.
- All those who have actively shared my publications in their social network, with Twitter users Lluís Camprubi (@lluiscamprubi), Tom Crowley (@Planoltom), Anda Burve-Rozīte (@RoziteBurve), and GrkStav (@GrkStav) being among those I am aware of.
- Ethan Schoonover whose Solarized theme has been a great inspiration for Prot16, my system for highlighting computer code syntax, which inter alia informs the very design of this website.
- The contributors to the Jekyll static site generator, the Sass preprocessor, the GitHub Pages platform, the Atom text editor, and any dependencies thereof for furnishing the tools necessary for the development of protesilaos.com and related projects.1
None of those mentioned can in anyway be held accountable for what is written in the Little Guide to the European Union. I just refer to them as a sign of good will. Responsibility rests entirely with me.
Written in Omodos, Cyprus
Published on May 9, 2016
If you are interested in some of the coding techniques used to develop this website, check out my Codelog section. This is my secondary blog on front-end development related to protesilaos.com and other projects (my main blog is about EU politics). The May 9, 2016 Codelog entry is about How I coded my new book, so you may want to take a look. [^]