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Consensus and European Integration / Consensus et intégration européenne

An Historical Perspective / Une perspective historique

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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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The Other Europe. Italian Trade Unions and the Evolution of Consensus towards a European Social Policy in the 1970s (Maria Eleonora Guasconi)

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211 The Other Europe Italian Trade Unions and the Evolution of Consensus towards a European Social Policy in the 1970s Maria Eleonora GUASCONI Introduction Brussels is the host to many European institutions such as the Commission and the Council of Ministers and is considered a “paradise for lobbyists”. Around 15,000 Brussels-based lobbyists are currrently putting pressure on the legislative process of the EU and for this reason some 2,600 special interest groups have permanent offices in Brussels. Among them, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), which up to date comprises 82 member organisations from a total of 36 countries in Western, Central and Eastern Europe. It has achieved a remarkably comprehensive representative status as the voice of European trade unions and is one of the most reliable interlocutors of the European Commission.1 In spite of these remarks, historians have tackled European integration as being the outcome of a political and diplomatic game, played mainly by foreign policy makers such as governments, foreign ministries, politicians and European institutions, devoting only scant attention to the role played by non-governmental actors such as pressure and interest groups, political parties or social actors as the trade unions. If this approach reflected the Community’s decision making process, left mainly in the hands of governments and Community institutions, since the 1990s – partly as a consequence of Delors’ effort for the establishment of a European social policy and of the increasing number of records becoming available to scholars – academic attention towards the social dimensions of...

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