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The European Centre-Right and European Integration: The Formative Years

  • Konstantina E. Botsiou
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Part of the The Constantinos Karamanlis Institute for Democracy Series on European and International Affairs book series (KKID)

Abstract

This chapter examines the links between the European centre-right and the process of European integration after the Second World War. A central argument concerns the emphasis placed by centre-right political parties and governments on the unification process as both a strategy for peace and development and a tool for promoting their own political agendas for liberal democracy and free market economy. This early dual endorsement of integration marked a significant ideological difference between the socialists and the centre-right, which overshadowed obvious discrepancies in the approach to integration within the centre-right camp itself (such as the Constitutional Treaty, Common Foreign and Security Policy, and Mediterranean Policy, inter alia). Despite the weakening of ideological barriers after the Cold War, initiatives for ‘more Europe’ and innovative ideas about the EU’s purpose continued to flow more coherently from centre-right forces. As well, such ideas were channelled by socialists who reconciled themselves with capitalism through globalisation (as in Tony Blair’s Third Way). The links between the centre-right and European integration will be traced here in the major historical initiatives for unification and the establishment of basic European institutions and policies. The centre-right idea of a united Europe is defined as being inseparable from the centre-right idea of the European welfare state.

Keywords

Welfare State European Integration Western European Country Historical Legacy Comparative Perspective 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Constantinos Karamanlis Institute for Democracy, Athens 2009

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  1. 1.AthensGreece

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