The European Commission: A Practical Guide

By Manuel Szapiro, with contributions by Michael Kaeding
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This book explains

  • What the European Commission is and how it is organised
  • What the European Commission does
  • How it does it

Packed with practical information, this book is designed as a working tool and reference handbook for:

  • Those working for the Commission – whether as officials, temporary or contract agents, consultants/contractors, seconded national experts or trainees
  • Those working with the Commission – whether in other EU institutions, EU agencies, national and regional administrations, diplomats, policy-makers, NGOs, business groups, etc
  • Those preparing EPSO competitions or with a professional interest in EU affairs

“I must praise the book’s pragmatic approach and lively content… this in-depth practical look from the inside contributes to fighting … a persistent lack of knowledge regarding this one-of-a-kind institution.”Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the Commission responsible for Inter-Institutional Relations and Administration

Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the Commission responsible for Inter-Institutional Relations and Administration

Table of Contents

The book is divided into four parts of unequal length.

  • Part I looks at what the European Commission is – both perceptions and realities
  • Part II focuses in more detail on the College of Commissioners and the President
  • Part III covers in depth the administration of the Commission and its staff – what job categories there are, what they do, how they are recruited and the rules under which they operate
  • Part IV is by far the biggest section of the book, exploring how the machinery of the Commission works. It looks systematically at how the Commission operates in different fields, reviewing its powers, procedures and practices, and showing how it works with other interested parties (both EU institutions and other stakeholders).

An Afterword considers the Commission’s response to the economic and financial crisis.

The ANNEXES include a detailed account of the fall of the Santer Commission and its longer-term significance plus a glossary of EU technical terms used in the text.

Features to assist understanding

  • Many aspects of the Commission’s work are complex. To help grasp the essentials, each chapter starts with “LEARNING OBJECTIVES” and ends with “KEY POINTS TO REMEMBER”.
  • “I WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT…” sections look at particular topics in a bit more depth
  • “METHODOLOGICAL TOOLBOXES” provide hands-on step-by-step guidance to practitioners on how the Commission undertakes a range of key tasks.
  • “PROFILES” give a flavour of the “human dimension” – what different types of job in the Commission actually involve.

About Manuel Szapiro, with contributions by Michael Kaeding

Manuel Szapiro is an official of the European Commission who has also for more than a decade taught postgraduate students about the European Commission at Sciences Po Paris and the College of Europe.

With contributions by Michael Kaeding, Professor of European Integration and EU Politics, University of Duisburg-Essen and Visiting Fellow, European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA).

Product Details

Publication Date
19 Feb 2013
Page Count