Page last updated at 15:43 GMT, Saturday, 31 October 2009

18 June 1998: Blair's vision for Europe

European Parliament, Strasbourg

Just over a year after becoming prime minister, Tony Blair made a speech to the European Parliament, to mark the end of Britain's six month stint holding the presidency of the EU.

He tried to strike a conciliatory tone, saying that his premiership would try to engage more constructively with the EU than he claimed the previous government had done.

However he warned MEPs not to take the support of the British people for European integration for granted.

His speech called on the European Union to introduce reforms to make itself more accountable and democratic, whilst still maintaining his support for the union.

It was a speech that marked the start of a long relationship between Mr Blair and the EU; which now sees him tipped as a future president of the European Union.

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