British Influence in Brussels: Looking Back and Looking Forwards

Hosted by the Department of International History

32 Lincoln's Inn Fields, LG.04, LSE, United Kingdom


Professor Laurent Warlouzet

Professor Laurent Warlouzet

Université du Littoral Côte d’Opale

Sir Jonathan Faull

Sir Jonathan Faull

Brunswick Group

Professor Piers Ludlow

Professor Piers Ludlow

LSE International History


Dr David Motadel

Dr David Motadel

LSE International History


How influential were the British as members of the European Community/European Union? And therefore how much influence are they set to lose by leaving the EU?

This roundtable looked back at the British role in Brussels during the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s and contended that the UK was actually much more successful in shaping the European system than is implied by its reputation as an ‘awkward partner’. Professor Laurent Warlouzet concentrated on British success in shaping the economic dimension of the integration process, Sir Jonathan Faull provided insights from his own past as a high-ranking official in the European Commission, and Professor Piers Ludlow explored the constructive side of British engagement with the EC/EU.


Professor Laurent Warlouzet is historian of Western Europe. He specialises on European integration from 1945 to the current debates including Brexit and competition policy. His last book Governing Europe in a Globalizing World. Neoliberalism and Its Alternatives following the 1973 Oil Crisis” (2018) discusses the daunting challenge of globalisation that Western Europe (France, UK, Germany) faced in the 1970s and 1980s. Professor Warlouzet did his first degree at Sorbonne University. He was Marie Curie Fellow at LSE from 2012 until 2014. In September 2014, he became associate Professor at the Université d’Artois (France). In September 2016, he joined l’Université du Littoral Côte d’Opale (France) as full Professor.

Sir Jonathan Faull (Brunswick Group) had a distinguished 37-year long career in the European Commission. In the period between 1995 and 2015, he held a number of highest-level positions, such as Director for Competition Policy at the Directorate-General for Competition, Deputy Director-General in charge of State aid, Spokesman and Director-General of Press and Communication and Director-General in charge of Financial Stability. In the last years, he has served as Director-General of the Task Force for Strategic Issues related to the UK Referendum. Sir Jonathan Faull studied law at the University of Sussex and the College of Europe in Bruges. He has been a visiting professor at the College of Europe since 2009 and Emeritus Professor of Law at the Free University of Brussels since 1989. He is a visiting Professor at King’s College London and a member of the boards of the Jacques Delors Institute in Paris and the Centre for European reform in London. In 2017, Sir Jonathan was knighted for services to UK relations with the European Union.

Professor N. Piers Ludlow is historian of Western Europe since 1945. He specialises on the historical roots of the integration process and the development of the EU. His first monograph, Dealing with Britain: the Six and the First UK Membership Application’ was published in 1997. His second book, The European Community and the Crises of the 1960s: negotiating the Gaullist Challenge (2006), was included in a list drawn up by the European Parliament of the 100 books that ought to be read about Europe. In 2016, Professor Ludlow published monograph, Roy Jenkins and the European Commission Presidency, 1976-1980: At the Heart of Europe. Professor Ludlow did his undergraduate degree at Trinity College, Oxford and PhD at St Antony’s College, Oxford. After finishing his PhD, he was a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at Balliol College. In 1998, he joined LSE.

The Department of International History (@lsehistory) teaches and conducts research on the international history of Britain, Europe and the world from the early modern era up to the present day.


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Banner image credit City A.M.