The Europe of elites: A study into the europeanness of Europe's political and economic elites / Heinrich Best, György Lengyel and Luca Verzichelli
Oxford, Oxford Univ. Press, 2012. 293 p.
It has been widely acknowledged that the process of European integration and unification was started and is still pursued as an elite project, designed to put an end to debilitating conflicts and rivalries by consolidating a common power base and by pooling Europe's economic resources. Based on surveys of political and economic elites in 18 European countries, it is a comprehensive study of the visions, fears, cognitions and values of members of national parliaments and top business leaders underlying their attitudes towards European integration. It also investigates political and economic elites' embeddedness in transnational networks and their ability to communicate in multicultural settings. The book strongly supports the view of an elitist character of the process of European integration on the one hand, while challenging the idea that European national elites have merged or are even merging into a coherent Eurelite on the other.