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Consensus and European Integration / Consensus et intégration européenne

An Historical Perspective / Une perspective historique


Edited By Daniela Preda and Daniele Pasquinucci

Analysis of the formation and development of the consensus on European integration provides an interesting interpretative perspective for studying the history of the construction of a united Europe.
The authors of this volume examine the main reasons – ideological, political, cultural and economic – that have been advanced to encourage citizens to support the European project. The contributors also consider the initiatives proposed by the political and institutional actors involved for promoting this supranational project.
L’analyse de la formation et du développement d’un consensus pour l’intégration européenne représente une piste interprétative intéressante pour étudier l’histoire de la construction de l’Europe unie.
Dans ce volume, les auteurs examinent les principales raisons avancées – idéales, politiques, culturelles, économiques – pour obtenir le soutien des citoyens au projet européen. En outre, ils analysent les initiatives élaborées par les acteurs politiques et institutionnels impliqués dans le processus d’unification dans le but de promouvoir le projet supranational.


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Northern European Social Democracy and European Integration, 1960-1972. Moving towards a New Consensus? (Kristian Steinnes)


107 Northern European Social Democracy and European Integration, 1960-1972 Moving towards a New Consensus? Kristian STEINNES It “is no accident”, Denis Healy pointed out in the early 1950s, “that in their approach to European unity since 1945 the socialist parties of Britain and Scandinavia have been most conservative – for they have most to conserve”.1 An important reason, he argued, was that economic planning reinforced the trend towards nationalism in a governing socialist party. Healy’s statement demonstrates how the British and Scandinavian labour party elites perceived the European integration process during the 1950s.2 Apparently, attitudes to the EEC/EC changed the following decade. On the eve of the 1970s the centre-right leadership of these parties largely presented the European integration project in positive terms. Joining core Europe, they claimed, not only was in keeping with the parties’ declared ambition to carry out domestic economic planning, but would make it possible to bring about more socialist policies in an enlarged European Community. This contribution deals with evolving perceptions of northern European socialist party elites. It examines whether a more positive intersubjective understanding of joining the EEC/EC emerged, or if the changes were instrumental and tactical to serve other ends. Conventional accounts dealing with these parties’ question of EEC/EC membership and European policies up to the first enlargement in 1973 tend to conceive of the decision-making process as if it was a pragmatic process 1 Quoted from Dell, E., The Schuman Plan and the British Abdication of Leadership in Europe, Oxford University Press,...

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