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Der gebremste Europäer - Gordon Browns Europa-Politik

The hampered European - Gordon Brown's European policy
[working paper]

Techau, Jan

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Corporate Editor Forschungsinstitut der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Auswärtige Politik e.V.
Abstract "2008 soll in den Staaten der Europäischen Union der Lissabonner Vertrag ratifiziert werden. Dabei kommt dem EU-Mitgliedstaat Großbritannien vermutlich erneut eine Schlüsselposition zu. Entscheidend wichtig dabei ist, ob die britische Regierung den lauter werdenden Forderungen im eigenen Land nach einer Volksabstimmung über den Vertrag nachgeben wird oder die Ratifizierung - wie bisher geplant - im Parlament erfolgen kann. Auf der Basis der bisherigen britischen Europa-Politik, der aktuellen innenpolitischen Lage, der Programmpapiere und der politischen Philosophie Gordon Browns untersucht die vorliegende Analyse die inhaltliche Ausrichtung der künftigen Europa-Politik der Labour-Regierung unter ihrem neuen Premierminister." (Autorenreferat)

"European Politics in the year 2008 will be dominated by the ratification process of the EU's new Lisbon Treaty. As before, Great Britain will most probably be a decisive player in this process. Whether the long-overdue treaty can enter into force will be largely dependent upon whether the British government will, against significant domestic pressure, succeed in avoiding a referendum by simply putting the treaty to vote in parliament. This paper analyzes the possible future direction of British EU politics under the new Labour government. Its findings are based on the historic role of Britain in Europe, the current domestic political situation, previously published programmatic documents, and Gordon Brown's political philosophy. This paper comes to the following conclusions: 1. The portrayal of Britain as a 'difficult partner' or 'laggard leader' in European affairs is only partly justified. Based on its very specific understanding of national sovereignty, Britain has developed a much more instrumental approach towards European integration than most of its partners on the continent. Nevertheless, the country was a strong driving force in favor of integration in many crucial policy fields: the single market, trade policy, economic and social modernization, EU expansion, and, to a somewhat lesser extent, in Common Foreign and Security Policy. 2. Gordon Brown's political philosophy is one dominated by an economic understanding of the world. He is instinctively skeptical about the idea of an ever closer European Union. But in order to achieve his political goals which entail a rather ambitious foreign policy agenda, he is forced to rely on a strong British engagement within Europe. 3. Brown's governments promotes a Europe which, by means of its economic strength, will actively shape and determine the nature of globalization. Its European policies put strong emphasis on the strengthening of the EU economic clout by means of liberal reforms. Among these are: the reform of the EU's budget, the completion of the single market, the liberalization of world trade, better regulation, the continuation of EU expansion policy, the creation of a common EU position on climate change and energy. 4. The new Labour government will be severely curtailed by the domestic political situation in Britain. Having already spent most of its European political capital by persistently rejecting a referendum on the new treaty, the government's capacity to play a constructive and active role in the European agenda will probably be limited until the next general elections. This could force Brown, against his inclinations, to be an unusually difficult European partner in the forthcoming months." (author's abstract)
Keywords EU policy; Great Britain; parliament; plebiscite; laboratory; European Policy; ratification; contract; government policy; EU
Classification European Politics
Method descriptive study
Document language German
Publication Year 2008
City Berlin
Page/Pages 16 p.
Series DGAP-Analyse, 1/2008
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications
data provider This metadata entry was indexed by the Special Subject Collection Social Sciences, USB Cologne