This is a hopeful work, clear, cogent and coherent, and it deserves a far wider readership than it seems likely to be accorded.
Field's book is welcome as the first attempt to cover the community's educational activities since 1984. [His] strength is to show that the EU has a foot in national education institutions through at least three diferent routes: through theducation and training cooperation programmes of DGXXII, the general directorate for education and training; through the research funding of DGXII; and in some regions through the structural funds administered by DGV, the social affairs general directorate. Through Field, the reader gets a sense of some of the procedures the commission uses to enlarge its empire
This is an important book [partly because] it represents the first extended examination of the subject. Field's intellectual energy is refreshing in a way reminiscent of Hobsbawm… his very acute critical faculties when applied to the examination of how policy has been developed and implemented preclude the naivete of the simple Europhile. He brings a rather scholarly scepticism, basing his arguments on a thorough review of policy documents at first hand, together with coverage of secondary sources and of his own interviews with educational practitioners and a range of civil servants in England, Ireland and the Commission
Writing about EU programmes in a manner which can hold one's attention is difficult and Field has made a valiant effort to overcome the 'glazed eyeball syndrome' which afflicts readers of, and about, such programmes or more particularly their acronyms... What we have in this book is an enlightened attitude towards the EU within which education and training needs are linked to restructuring of the labour market. The book provides graphs and statistics on student mobility, the major education and training programmes (useful for anyone trying to understand the EU acronyms) and EU funded research. What Field has attempted to do is to question what, at first glance, looks like the successful implementation of EU programmes by placing them in context.