New Labour and the European Union : Political Strategy, Policy Transition and the Amsterdam Treaty Negotiation book cover
1st Edition

New Labour and the European Union
Political Strategy, Policy Transition and the Amsterdam Treaty Negotiation

ISBN 9780815382232
Published April 28, 2020 by Routledge
268 Pages

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Book Description

This title was first published in 2002. This book makes a valuable contribution to the literature on the UK-EU relationship and on the development of the Labour party since Tony Blair became leader in 1994, providing a detailed examination of the process of policy-making undertaken by Labour in relation to the 1996-97 intergovernmental conference (IGC) of the EU. It tracks policy development from opposition to government, culminating in the conclusion of treaty negotiations at Amsterdam in June 1997. The book moves beyond the existing literature in providing an original account of policy-making based on internal party and government sources. It highlights a ’New Labour’ approach to the EU - set in place by the time of the Amsterdam summit and characteristic of the Blair government’s European policy thereafter - and suggests that this approach represents both continuity and change with previous UK governments and a break from the European social democratic perspective that had been central to Labour’s previous pro-European conversion.

Table of Contents


Introduction: Britain and the European treaty review of 1996

Labour’s new Europeanism and the IGC agenda

The leader’s working-group on the IGC

The PES, the EPLP and the trade unions: Europeanizing influences on policy?

The countdown to government; Labour in government: the IGC endgame

Conclusion: continuity, change, ideological shifts and counter-shifts



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’This is an important book. It provides a thorough explanation of the negotiations for the Treaty of Amsterdam; it elucidates the relationships between the socialist parties in the European Union; and it offers a fascinating insight into the policy process at the heart of New Labour.’ Professor Mike Newman, University of North London, UK 'A thorough study of the European policy of the British Labour Party under Blair'. The International Spectator