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Domestic Politics and Referendums on the Constitutional Treaty

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  • Gemma Mateo González
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    Abstract

    How can the decision of ten member states to subject the Constitutional Treaty of the European Union (EU) to a referendum be explained? Recently, some scholars have considered the need to give legitimacy to the decisions of the EU as one of the principal motivations for holding referendums. An empirical analysis of the motivations behind the decisions in favour of referendums uncovers a completely different reality, however. Political actors used the possibility to hold referendums about European matters in a strategic way to strengthen their positions in the domestic context rather than to correct the democratic deficit of the EU. The analysis of a database with the positions of all the political parties represented in the national parliaments of the twenty-five member states confirms this point.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS) in its series EUI-RSCAS Working Papers with number 32.

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    Date of creation: 05 Oct 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:erp:euirsc:p0177

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    Keywords: referendum; legitimacy; political parties; Constitution for Europe;

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    1. Nentwich, Michael, 1996. "Opportunity Structures for Citizens' Participation: The Case of the European Union," European Integration online Papers (EIoP), European Community Studies Association Austria (ECSA-A), vol. 0, November.
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