The contributors to the volume analyze the EU from a surprisingly rare perspective, namely by exploring how it is influenced by multilateral institutions. There has recently been a dramatic increase in interaction between the EU and multilateral institutions, yet this interaction has almost without exception been studied from the bottom-up perspective. This volume reverses the causal arrow and shows that international institutions shape EU policies and the policy-making process, as well as acting as a source of preferences and strategies for EU stances internationally. The impact is (under certain conditions) strong and rather frequently unintended and unexpected. Sometimes the influence goes as far as to foster small-scale processes of EU integration. Scholars with expertise in different areas have contributed to this endeavour, thus allowing the volume to cover a wide range of international institutions and their effects on the EU.