Europe's crises and the EU's 'big three'
Title: Europe's crises and the EU's 'big three'
Citation: West European politics, 2016, Vol. 39, No. 5, pp. 1053-1072
ISSN: 1743-9655; 0140-2382
This article examines the impact and significance of the Crimea-Ukraine-Russia and the eurozone crises on relations among and between the EU’s three biggest member states - Britain, France and Germany - as well as their individual influence and roles within the EU. The Ukraine and eurozone crises have revealed and intensified three longer-term developments in contemporary European politics: Germany's rise as the EU's most powerful member state and its role as Europe's indispensable policy broker; the resilience and centrality of Franco-German bilateralism, despite the growing power imbalance separating the two; and Britain's diminished and diminishing role in EU affairs. To put the current period of turmoil in perspective, this article also aims to contribute to a better understanding of the operating logic of crisis, continuity and change in the relations of the EU’s big three member states.
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