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European Parties and the European Integration Process, 1945–1992

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Edited By Lucia Bonfreschi, Giovanni Orsina and Antonio Varsori

The present volume brings together three different traditions of historical study: national politics, European integration, and political parties. Since the 1980s, there has been an enlargement of the scope of political history. This attempt to transcend national boundaries can intersect with the new strands of European integration history, paying much more attention to transnational perspectives and forces. The chapters comprised in this book attempt to forge a dialogue between these new methodologies and the study of political parties in manifold ways. Firstly, in the study of party foreign and European politics – how parties have perceived themselves as belonging not only to the national political game, but also to a wider transnational, and European one. Secondly, party history can transcend national boundaries through the study of international and European party cooperation. Thirdly, it can offer worthwhile avenues of study on how political families deal with European integration not along ideological cleavages but along national ones. This volume fills a crucial gap of European historiography by comparing parties’ discourses/platforms/policies on European integration and by developing national, comparative and transnational approaches.
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A Socialist Europe? Democratic Socialist Party Ideas and the Process of European Integration 1960-1973

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A Socialist Europe?

Democratic Socialist Party Ideas and the Process of European Integration 1960-1973

Kristian STEINNES

Professor, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim

Focussing on Social Democratic and Socialist political parties and politicians, this contribution explores how the process of European integration was dealt with in transnational Socialist arenas during the 1960s and early 1970s.1 It explores ideas of political Europe in the Socialist International (SI), the Socialist parties of the European Community (EC) and the Socialist Group in the European Parliament (EP), and examines how these ideas were interpreted and translated into policies and how they developed during the period.2 Although Northern European Labour parties were reluctant to engage in the European project on the eve of the 1960s, the Democratic Socialist parties of the European Economic Community (EEC) had been persistently in favour of deeper integration since the late 1950s. Through the SI network in particular, they repeatedly insisted that instead of preventing Socialist policies, European Community membership actually contributed to upgrading welfare provisions and social security. In keeping with these perceptions, they launched ideas to introduce more Socialist policies on a European-wide scale. ← 63 | 64 →

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