Search icone
Search and publish your papers

Has Blair government's constructive European engagement been undermined by the Iraq war?

Or download with : a doc exchange

About the author


About the document

Published date
documents in English
term papers
6 pages
0 times
Validated by
0 Comment
Rate this document
  1. Introduction.
  2. Taking over the office in 1997.
  3. The first term (1997-2001): A proactive and constructive engagement vis-a-vis Europe.
    1. New Labour pledge and the 1997 manifesto.
    2. The Amsterdam European Council.
    3. EU and Blair.
    4. UK's presidency.
    5. Blair's first term success in terms of European policies.
  4. The Second Term (2001-2005): Dealing with difficulties outside and inside the UK.
    1. Historical and political analysis.
    2. Blair's second term and the 9/11 attacks.
    3. Blair and the war of Iraq.
    4. The differences between the first and the second term.
  5. The Third Term (2005-2007): Blair and the EU in turmoil.
  6. Conclusion.
  7. Bibliography.

Britain's relationship with the European Union (EU) has been one of the most divisive issues of British politics over the last 50 years. Yet, the election of the Blair government in May 1997 intended to change this situation and marked a significant shift in the UK's European policies. Unlike his predecessors, such as Margaret Thatcher or John Major, Tony Blair wanted to adopt a more positive approach towards Europe. For him, Britain could not ?shape Europe unless [she] matters in Europe.? In fact, this constructive Europeanism was the reflective of the trajectory first established in the late 1980s and early 1990s when under Neil Kinnock's leadership, the Labour Party ?underwent its transformation into a political party firmly committed to the European integration process.? Indeed, the Labour fought the 1983 elections on the basis of a manifesto which condemned the impact of the European Communities within the UK. But this position ended up with a catastrophic defeat for the party. Hence, the Labour Party sought for modernization and shifted from being opposed to being in favour of the European integration.

[...] Bulmer, Simon, Home: the Blair Government's European Policy?. Bulmer, Simon, Lecture Notes 2006-2007. Fella, Stephano,? New Labour-New Europe? Parliamentary Affairs, (Oct. 2006) 621-37. Geddes, Andrew, The European Union and British Politics, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan George, Stephen, An Awkward Partner: Britain in the European Community, Oxford: Oxford University Press Grant, Charles, Can Britain Lead in Europe? London: Centre for European Reform Hughes, Kirsty, and Ed Smith, Labour, Same Old Britain? The Blair Government and European Treaty Reform,?, International Affairs, (Jan. 1998), 93-103. [...]

[...] Not only has about 60% of the British been constantly opposed to European Monetary Union but opposition to it reflected a serious economic concerns about the impact on taxes and unemployment.?[31] Eurosceptism was also reinforced by the media. For instance, the Sun, in its front page once called Blair as the ?most dangerous man in Britain? because he wanted abolish the pound?.[32] Hence, Blair's second term has been quite different from his first one. Yet one can say that is was not proactive but reactive, since despite all the difficulties mentioned above, progresses have been accomplished, especially with the CAP reforms and devolution, and also in terms of environmental policy.[33] Moreover, after the Convention on the Future of Europe (2001-1003), Blair (even if he became less enthusiastic about the European construction) agreed on a Constitutional Treaty and then later made a commitment to a referendum on the latter. [...]

[...] The Union failed to agree on a united response to the crisis over Iraq and Britain's eager backing of the US ?reflected attitudes that had little to do with the deepest reflexes of France, Germany or their continental partners.?[22] By going on war alongside with the US, the Blair government forgot its determination of 1997 (which was about rebuilding Britain's relation with Europe) and ?committed the UK to the special relationship with the Nevertheless, Britain was not the only European country to support the US and was accompanied by Spain and Italy and other accessing countries such as Romania or Poland. [...]

Similar documents you may be interested in reading.

A closer examination of the phenomenon of globalization and its affect on India

 Economics & finance   |  Economics   |  Research papers   |  05/10/2009   |   .doc   |   117 pages

Top sold for journalism

Six feet of the country, by Nadine Gordimer

 Arts & media   |  Journalism   |  Presentation   |  05/07/2009   |   .doc   |   3 pages

Maurice A. Bercof - The Art of Negotiating

 Arts & media   |  Journalism   |  Term papers   |  05/16/2009   |   .doc   |   6 pages