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As noted earlier the negotiations began in the aftermath of de Gaulle's rejection of British membership of the EEC in January 1963 which had immediate impact on the conduct of the formative stage of the talks. 42 Second, it gave renewed impetus to Anglo-American diplomacy. Background to the Kennedy Round 39 Going into the Kennedy Round the two faced similar economic concerns about high European tariffs and similar political problems caused by exclusion from decision-making in Brussels. Both American and British influence on the Community were limited due to British exclusion and French anti-Atlanticism.

53 Many similar meetings followed during the course of the Round, both formal and informal, between government officials and politicians. Both sides profited from these meetings. '54 Because of the informal nature of the 'special relationship' it is often difficult to describe in precise terms. David Reynolds has distinguished between unique characteristics that make Anglo-American relations 'special', that is different from any other bilateral relationship, and factors that make it important. He argues that the relationship has depended upon four factors: similar interests, similar ideology, a network of close personal contacts and friendships, and Britain's continued role as a world power.

As a result, Washington feared that the 'anti-Atlanticism' of the French government could potentially upset the regional balance of power in Europe. Further, in January, 1963, during the formative stage of the negotiations, French dirigisme led to the rejection of Britain's application to join the EEC. 25 If it is true that states are power maximizers, that security interests of states dominate calculations of power, that this leads to alliance formation in balances of power and that in balances of power middle powers use diplomatic skills to influence the great powers, then classical realism suggests the following propositions about middle power influence at the Kennedy Round: first, the more the United States placed security interests above economic interests, the greater the level of middle power influence; second, the more countries threatened US security interests, the greater their influence on the United States; third, the more middle powers complied with US security interests, the less influence they would have; fourth, the more diplomatic skills middle powers have the greater their influence on the United States; and fifth, middle power influence on America would upset the balance of power.

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