This chapter introduces the EU’s policies. It does so by describing the diverse origins of the policies and by taking an overview of key features of the policy portfolio. The origins of EU policies lie in a number of places. So, for example, at a general level, the changed mood in Western Europe after the Second World War enabled states between which policy cooperation, let alone coordination, would previously have been unthinkable to begin to work closely with one another in policy areas where there appeared to be shared advantages from so doing. Staying at a general level, an increasingly important factor since the Second World War has been the increasingly interdependent nature of the international, and more particularly of the European, systems, which has resulted in national borders becoming ever more ill-matched with political and economic realities and policy needs. The combined impact of the changed mood and the pressures of interdependence have been significant in helping to persuade European states to transfer policy responsibilities to a ‘higher’ level in an attempt to shape, manage, control, take advantage of, and keep pace with the modern world.
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