THE ACTIVITIES of the European Commission are often shrouded in a fog of multi-lingual bureaucracy and obtuse acronyms. This leads many in member states to believe that the Commission is affecting their lives in some vague, but disturbing way.
An attempt to demystify how the Commission's works is long overdue is largely met - for civil engineers at least - by the Engineers in Europe 1999/2000 Yearbook.
Engineers in Europe has been compiled by ICE European affairs manager Diana Maxwell and is impressively ambitious. It leaves the reader in no doubt about the breadth of the Commission's activities in the built environment area.
The book has four main sections. It kicks of with a 31-page general features section which deals mainly with the headline news from what was a calamitous year for the Commission. This kind of section is rarely included in directories of this sort and is helpful in putting the Commission's civil engineering activities in a wider political and economic context.
The heart of the book lies in its technical reference and sector specific sections. The first deals with relevant areas of the Commission's activities such as environment, health and safety, research and development. The second concentrates on specific initiatives such as the Construction Products Directive, and the role of bodies which liaise with the Commission, including the ICE.
Engineers in Europe concludes with a reference section giving information on the development of the European Union and its main players such as the European Investment Bank.
All entries have comprehensive details on how and where to find more information.
Engineers in Europe costs £25 and is available from the International Division of the ICE. Tel: 00 44 7665 2155. Fax: 00 44 7233 1806. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org