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Title: Anglo-German relations in the EC/EU 1979-1997
Author: An, P.-E.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2006
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The expectation in some quarters before the UK joined the EC in 1973 was that there would be closer co-operation between Britain and Germany, as the two countries have many things, especially Atlanticism and the principle of free trade in common. But the reality was quite different and co-operation was limited. So, the central question of my research is: what factors prevented them from forging closer co-operation? Among the factors identified as determinants of the bilateral co­operation, this dissertation specifically seeks to determine the relative importance of the long-term factors (history, geography, and relations with the US and France) and certain short-term elements (personalities, personal relations between political leaders, party political links, and economic factors) and examine their inter-relatedness. My findings are that, in marked contrast to the strategic Franco-German relationship, relations between Britain and Germany have been principally contingent upon short-term factors. Even though the mix of the factors has varied over time and case by case, domestic political considerations; were consistently of primary importance. In particular, owing to the divisive character of ‘Europe’ in British politics, the impact of domestic politics on its relations with Germany was considerable. In addition, external factors such as the United States’ policy towards the Soviet Union and Germany’s relations with France were also important. From the findings, it follows that the oft-used term ‘silent alliance’ is only partially apposite. For this research, I employed a qualitative methodology, interpreting primary and secondary materials and conducting semi-structured interviews with both British and German decision-makers from the period under research. I also gained access to the Helmut Schmidt Papers in Germany to investigate the German perception of the UK as a partner. In order to demonstrate the complexities of Anglo-German relations, I took a case study approach.  Four major events in the Community were chosen: the British Budgetary Question (BBQ), the Single European Act (SEA), German Unification, and the Treaty on European Union (TEU).  Each case was systematically examined to answer the core questions of my research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available