I’m in the middle of the holiday slowdown, as regular readers will have noticed, basically due to being other places and doing other things. But there’s one thing I know I can already look forward to in January, and EuroSavant visitors can look forward to it, too. Peter Norman, long-time European correspondent for leading newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal – Europe and the FT, closely observed all the sessions of that European Convention that drew up the proposed Constitution/Constitutional Treaty (right, the one which, somewhat altered, could nonetheless not gain the required unanimous agreement from all current and soon-to-be EU member-states at the summit earlier this month in Brussels). He did so partly in order to write a book about that process, which is now out: The Accidental Constitution: The Story of the European Convention, EuroComment, 2003 ( here’s further information about the book from EuroComment’s site).
I like to buy my books from Proxis.com (based in Belgium), mainly because they’re often cheapest there (but this is a complicated question; I can’t go into details here), there’s free delivery within the Benelux for orders over €12, and customer service is pretty good. On the other hand, sometimes they don’t have a book immediately in stock, which has been the case here, so that I’m still waiting for the copy of The Accidental Constitution that I ordered and presumably will finally get it within a week or two. In a sense, then, the failure of that Brussels summit (not to mention the general haziness and confusion about where the EU goes from here) was actually good news, in that it keeps the insights into the Convention and the Constitution itself that I’m sure I’ll gain from reading Norman’s book at the cutting-edge of current relevance – although even if the Constitution had been accepted, the book would obviously still be worth reading.
As soon as I have read it, I’ll let you know what it says and what I think. But it’s quite a big volume, and of course it treats all sorts of interesting subjects on the EU’s present agenda – so that it’s likely that that discussion will be good for perhaps three or more weblog entries. Note also that this will be contrary to the usual weblogging paradigm, namely “post shallow, post often,” in that it’s going to require a bit of time and effort to digest what Norman has to say, and then to report on it in an interesting way. “Post deep,” in other words: but I trust that, in the meantime, I should be able to keep up some sort of schedule of postings on other €S topics.