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  • Author: Robert Cooper
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Forty years after Britain joined Europe both have changed, mostly for the better. This story does not, however, begin in 1972 when the negotiations finished and were ratified by parliament, nor in 1973 when the UK took its place at the Council table as a full member, but ten years before with the first British application and the veto by General de Gaulle. Sometimes, going further back still, it is suggested that if Ernest Bevin's ideas for West European cooperation had been pursued, or if Britain had decided to join talks on the Schuman Plan, or to take the Spaak Committee seriously, things might have been different. But the truth is there was no Robert Schuman or Jean Monnet in Britain, and no readiness to think in radically new terms. Had the UK been present at the negotiations that led to the European Coal and Steel Community, the outcome for Britain would probably still have been the same, precisely because the vision was lacking. The decision on the Schuman Plan was a close-run thing—the idea of planning for heavy industry being in accordance with the ideas of the Labour government. But British ideas were very different from those of the French or the Americans, who were thinking in terms of supranational bodies—indeed, for Monnet this was a cardinal point. His approach was supported by the Benelux countries, which were already setting up their own customs union. Bevin had an ambition to lead Europe, but it is not clear where he wanted to take it. British policy was sensible and pragmatic but it offered no vision and few resources, and still gave as much priority to the empire as to Europe. Most probably, participation in those early talks would only have postponed a decision not to join the new enterprise. It was only when that enterprise looked successful and likely to last that Britain began to take it seriously and to think of membership.
  • Political Geography: America, Europe, France
  • Author: Quentin Peel, Michael Stürmer
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Michael Stürmer: Occasionally, and very pointedly, you have described yourself as 'the man from Halle'. What does Halle stand for in your life? Hans-Dietrich Genscher: It is the city that has moulded me. It is a very defiant, revolutionary city, with a great tradition in the Enlightenment, in the Reformation, but also in the labour movement. So it is no surprise that on 17 June 1953, the centre of the uprising, outside Berlin, was in Halle. But also in the Third Reich there was strong resistance in this region.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Europe, England
  • Author: Oliver Daddow
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This may be the most important proposition revealed by history: 'At the time, no one knew what was coming.' With Britain's main parties of government deeply divided on the question of European integration, the country's politicians have been reticent to the point of paranoia about opening up national debates about the European Economic Community/European Union. The national media, by contrast, have had no such qualms about professing their opinions on the merits and downsides of the European project and Britain's contribution to it. This article argues that on the issue of 'Europe' most organs of the British media have, in a variety of ways and for various reasons, been on a journey between 1973 and the present from permissive consensus to destructive dissent. In putting forward this interpretation the article adapts Liesbet Hooghe and Gary Marks's judgement that, since the signing of the Treaty of Maastricht in 1991, European policy-making elites have increasingly had to 'look over their shoulders when negotiating European issues'. This is because public interest in notionally European-level affairs has risen in proportion to the number and contentiousness of landmark decisions being taken at the supranational level. Crucially, there has been a marked rise in Euroscepticism across the Continent, with national politicians having to 'make room for a more Eurosceptical public' when coming to decisions on European integration, especially on sensitive topics such as fiscal union and constitution-building.2The title of this article reflects the specificity of the British case, where a seismic shift took place during the 1980s. Widespread (but by no means total) media support, sometimes manifest as quiet or just plain uninterested acquiescence in the European project in its 'common market' guise, has given way to a vigorously partisan hostility bordering on a nationalist and in some arenas xenophobic approach to the coverage of European affairs.
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: James Spence
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Shadows of 'bougets', in the old sense of moneybags, loom over Britain's stance on the EU budget today, as they did over EC budgets 40 years ago. Three of the make-or-break issues for the UK in the negotiations over the multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the period from 2014 to 2020 concern the direct cost of UK membership. The first is maintaining the British correction or 'rebate', while also maintaining member state sovereignty over budget revenue decisions. (The current rebate, some claim, was finally gained by another 'bouget', Mrs Thatcher's fabled handbag, in 1984.) Cutting finance to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is the second, and closely linked to the first. At the time Britain was negotiating its terms for accession, its less Eurocentric agricultural trade patterns, and its higher dependence on cheap food imports from outside the Communities, marked it off from the six founding EC member states for which food security was a high priority. UK food prices were relatively low compared to Continental prices. Agriculture was a smaller economic and employment sector in the UK than it was in Continental Europe, and land ownership patterns also differed markedly. The third, and again related, issue is reducing the overall size of the MFF: that is, limiting the amounts available for the EU's annual budgets over several years, and therefore reducing the UK's contributions.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Julie Smith
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: European integration is a cross-cutting political issue that has divided British political parties for over half a century. When Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath sought to take Britain into the then Common Market, he relied on the votes of 69 pro-European rebel Labour MPs to get the European Communities Bill through the House of Commons in 1971—an early sign of the divisive impact membership of the European Union would have on British party politics. Barely a decade after accession, the Labour Party had sought to renegotiate the UK's terms of membership, held a referendum on whether the UK should remain in the Common Market, split in part over the issue and finally fought an election in which it called for withdrawal. Fast forward another three decades and the Labour position was broadly pro-European, while Tory rebels, alongside a party established to oppose membership, the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), were advocating withdrawal from the Union. And if withdrawal was not the official Conservative position, Euroscepticism has certainly become prevalent in that party, leading one Conservative parliamentarian to claim: 'The dividing line in the Conservative Party is now in/out.'
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, England
  • Author: Sven Biscop
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The problem of European defence is that it does not work with the United Kingdom, but would not work without it either. Unlike in other policy areas, in defence the issue is not British resistance to Brussels directives. Populist outcries against a mythical 'Euro-Army' notwith-standing, British sovereignty is not under threat. The real issue is that other European countries are not doing enough in spite of being urged from both sides of Brussels—by the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). 'Too many countries are failing to meet their financial responsibilities to NATO, and so failing to maintain appropriate and proportionate capabilities. Too many are opting out of operations or contributing but a fraction of what they should be capable of ', in the words of Defence Secretary Philip Hammond. Britain, on the contrary, is the leading European military power, accounting for 22.4 per cent of defence expenditure and 11.8 per cent of armed forces, and it is more willing than most to deploy those forces (providing 20.8 per cent of the average number of troops deployed), including for combat operations. Its military clout enables the UK to lead the others—any scheme for European defence without it would indeed be severely handicapped. But does Britain want to lead? The paradox is that while the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) would not have come into being without British leadership, it would be much more effective without British reluctance to make full use of it. In contrast to most European countries, the UK has never stopped seeing European defence and the continued assurance of transatlantic partnership (in the shape of its special relationship with the United States and the NATO alliance) as a zero-sum game.
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Europe, North Atlantic
  • Author: Arthur I. Cyr
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: There is no shortage of attention to disagreements and tensions between the United States and the nations of Europe, considered both individually and collectively. The 40th anniversary of Britain's entry into the European Economic Community (EEC), now the European Union (EU), is a good benchmark anniversary not only for reflection on what has transpired to date but also for evaluation of current trends and likely future developments. The nation's course, regarding both entry into membership and participation, has hardly been smooth, but the relationship with the institution has endured.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States, Europe
  • Author: N. Piers Ludlow
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Recent trends in both Britain and Continental Europe have made the question of the United Kingdom's position as a fully fledged member of the European Union more contentious than it has been for decades. The almost unchecked rise of Euroscepticism among both the British political elite—especially within the governing Conservative Party—and the media means that the possibility of British withdrawal from the Union, or at very least the renegotiation of its position within it, is discussed more openly and in more mainstream political circles than at any time since the 1970s. On the other side of the Channel, meanwhile, the perceived need to address the weaknesses of the single currency by increasing integration, whether across the EU as a whole or simply among those countries that share the euro, has helped create a situation in which many of the key decisions are taken in forums within which the British are either not represented at all or are marginal players at best. Few European governments openly aspire to a situation in which the United Kingdom moves away from the core European decision-making system, and several have publicly deplored the possibility. But faced with the need to press ahead, and the ever decreasing likelihood of the British being able to follow any such advance, European governments are being forced to contemplate the prospect of a core Europe without Britain.
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Paola Subacchi
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: There is a sense of frustration and impotence in watching the eurozone crisis unfold. Non-Europeans cannot understand why tackling the crisis has proved so hard. On a recent trip to China a senior central banker asked me: 'Why don't you Europeans get on with it? You know what you need to do. Just do it.' In the narrative of the eurozone crisis, slow action has come to epitomise poor leadership.
  • Political Geography: China, Europe
  • Author: Thomas Raines
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Next year will mark the 40th anniversary of Britain joining the European community but the odds on it being there a decade from now are lengthening fast.
  • Topic: Oil
  • Political Geography: Britain, Europe
  • Author: James Sherr
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe
  • Author: David Patrikarakos
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: David Patrikarakos reveals how Dick Cheney, the US Vice-President, missed a blatant opportunity to defuse the crisis with Tehran
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Europe, Iran
  • Author: Thomas Cargill
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The next big thing: Once known only for hunger and war, Africa's moment has arrived
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Kerry Brown
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Kerry Brown rues the pending departure of Premier Wen Jiabao
  • Political Geography: China, Europe
  • Author: Paul Mason
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Perils of European optimism: The inability to imagine failure is reminiscent of 1914, writes Paul Mason.
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Heribert Dieter
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Germany learnt a €2 trillion lesson after reunification which it is not going to easily forget.
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Alan Philps
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The former prime minister of Sweden, mediator in the Balkans and current foreign minister talks to Alan Philps. He advocates a Nordic cold shower for southern Europe, sees alarming levels of debt in the US, and anticipates a Russian change of heart over Syria.
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Balkans, Syria, Sweden
  • Author: Martyn Bond
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Muliculturalism has failed. So said Chancellor Angela Merkel in a speech in Potsdam last October. David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy both echoed her opinion early this year. But it is not easy to know just what they meant. The term is open to so many interpretations and used in so many different ways. Is it an ideology, a set of policies, or a social reality?
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Vanessa Rossi, Will Jackson
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Just one year ago, as financial markets lost confidence in the Greek government's ability to meet its mounting debt obligations, fellow Eurozone members along with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stepped in to provide a 110 billion euro bail-out. This prevented an immediate collapse in Greece's public sector and financial system. However tough and unpopular the last year of fiscal austerity and recession has been, it would have been far worse without the emergency loans.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Greece
  • Author: Heather A Conley
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Europe and the United States—the West—urgently need political leadership, economic fortitude and a clear vision of the future if they are to contend with the challenges posed by emerging regional powers and to resist the downward pressures of 'relative decline', the central focus of David Marquand's book, The end of the West: the once and future Europe. Central to this goal will be the West's ability to 'rebalance' between its institutions and democracy; its power and commitments; and its political and moral authority. Europe must 'rebalance' on issues related to ethnicity and identity, governance and authority, and civilization and territory. EU enlargement and its institutional reform processes have exacerbated this imbalance. American foreign policy objectives currently exceed its resources and are hampered by lack of strategic clarity and intellectual vision which keeps the United States from achieving an adaptive leadership model more capable of successfully operating in an increasingly complex and multipolar world. For Europe to become internally healthy and externally productive—both politically and economically—it needs to regain balance between its utopian, institutional objectives and democratic support for its future ambitions and policy course. Strong leadership and a powerful vision of prosperity from the West will be vital to return the transatlantic partnership to global economic and political advantage.
  • Topic: Reform
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe