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By C. Schweiger

Britain, Germany and the way forward for the eu Union outlines the alterations in British and German eu rules that have been attribute of a technique of normalization in either international locations. Schweiger examines attainable components for cooperation among Britain and Germany on significant eu concerns (institutional and procedural reform, EMU, fiscal reform, CFSP and growth) and the capability importance that this type of operating partnership can have in the enlarged ecu Union.

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8). The rise of Nazi Germany had confirmed the traditional British suspicion about the sinister character of the continental neighbours. In the aftermath of the Second World War, the fog in the channel between Britain and the continent hence remained dense. The victorious Great Power Britain had come out of the two World Wars as the only victorious nation in Europe and had successfully fought against German Nazism alongside the United States. 1 Britain’s main interest after 1945 was therefore the prevention of any further conflict in Europe, which would have seriously harmed the British economy and any prospect for recovery.

The idea that Britain could remain relatively uncommitted to the causes of the Community and at the same time seek to change its internal power structure, was a profound miscalculation. British global influence continued to wane throughout the 1960s, due to the weakening of the Commonwealth and the declining importance the United States attached to the bilateral relationship with Britain. 22 Britian, Germany and the Future of the European Union Even more disillusioning for British leaders was the fact that many of their prospective partners within the EEC were rather lukewarm about the prospect of British accession to their European club.

Britain had managed to split Europe into two alternative frameworks, one aimed at ‘ever closer union’ and the other focussed on free trade and market liberalisation. The disadvantage for Britain was, that it found itself leading the weaker of the two (Gowland and Turner, 2000, p. 84). If EFTA had been a success, Britain would not have come under increasing economic pressure by the end of the 1950s, and membership of the EEC would have almost certainly not become a serious option. However, the increasingly obvious gap in the economic performance of the United Kingdom and the member states of the EEC forced British leaders to consider the option of EEC membership.

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