Why convene referendums? Explaining choices in EU constitutional politics (in Special Issue: Political Agency in the Constitutional Politics of the European Union)

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Series Details Vol.14, No.8, December 2007, p1311-1332
Publication Date December 2007
ISSN 1350-1763
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Abstract: Referendums are not the most common instrument of democracy in EU member states. In spite of this, the negotiation of the EU Constitution prompted a number of governmental choices of this mechanism for ratification of the new treaty and no less than ten governments announced their intention to use it. The reasons for these choices must be looked for in domestic political circumstances and, more precisely, in the non-existence of solid parliamentary majorities and disputes within the ruling parties, as well as in the perception of an electoral advantage on the part of government parties. Additionally, the force of arguments for the need to ratify a constitution by means of a referendum and the imitation of the path followed in other countries played an important part in these choices

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Dilemmas of Direct Democracy: The European Union from Comparative Perspective (C2D Working Paper Series, No.30, 2008) http://www.c2d.ch/files/C2D_WP30.pdf

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