Margaret Thatcher (British, born 13 October 1925 - died 8 April 2013) was leader of the British Conservative Party from 1975 and Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990. Her strong neo-liberal convictions led her to champion profound reforms to British foreign, economic and social policy that are still influential and controversial today. Her policies of deregulation, privatisation of state-owned companies and flexible labour market became known as Thatcherism. Due to her approach and style she acquired the nickname, 'the Iron Lady'.


In an address to Christian Democrat leaders, Thatcher describes the threats facing Europeans at the time. The threat from outside the Community coming largely from the Soviet Union. Whilst Europeans do not seek confrontation, they have a duty to keep the notions of liberty and human dignity in Eastern Europe alive.

Europe also faces internal threats, particularly the dangers of disunity and disillusion. The British Conservative Party is willing to accept the basic rules of the Community but it is also ready to persuade their European partners that changes are needed to agricultural, budgetary and foreign policies.

Approaching the first direct elections to the European Parliament, Thatcher believes that greater cooperation is needed between the European political parties of the centre and the right. The European Community is based on political and economic freedom as well as respect for the law, a wide diffusion of ownership and a commitment to help the weak. Europeans must be willing to export their belief in freedom with both courage and a trust in themselves.