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Domestic Politics and Referendums on the Constitutional Treaty


  • Gemma Mateo González


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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  • Gemma Mateo González, 2006. "Domestic Politics and Referendums on the Constitutional Treaty," EUI-RSCAS Working Papers 32, European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS).
  • Handle: RePEc:erp:euirsc:p0177

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    References listed on IDEAS

    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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    referendum; legitimacy; political parties; Constitution for Europe;

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