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10 May 2007

Europe

German MEP Jo Leinen, Chairman of the Constitutional Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, g

By Jo Leinen

Tony Blair can look back happily on many internal policy achievements such as the reform of the health system, improvements of the education policy and a breakthrough in the relation with Northern Ireland.

On the European level however, Tony Blair’s legacy is not very impressive. He has neither implemented the referendum on the EURO nor the one on the Constitutional Treaty.

Thus, he was not able to establish for himself a strong profile in European policy. When starting out in 1997 he promised to place Great Britain “in the heart of Europe” but has failed to live up to that pledge.

Cooperation with Tony Blair towards a common foreign affairs policy proved difficult. His strong support for the war in Iraq was not shared by all the European partners.

Even the British EU presidency could not produce highlights or come up with new ideas. After months of inactivity the EU budget negotiations almost ran into a deadlock.

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