3rd Dec 2022

Joint call for European referendum on the Constitution

  • Protests in Berlin (Photo: Vote 2004)

While leaders from France, Germany and the UK were holding a meeting on the future of Europe's economy, grass roots protestors from their countries were protesting about European citizens not having enough say over Europe's future.

With three huge placards depicting French president Jacques Chirac, UK prime minister Tony Blair and German chancellor Gerhard Schröder all blocking their ears, Mehr Demokratie (from Germany), Vote 2004 (from the UK) and the Paris-based think tank 2020 launched a joint call for a referendum on the European Constitution.

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Discussions on the treaty blueprint, which have been stalled since December, were expected to be held over dinner on Wednesday evening (18 February).

"Nine out of ten British voters want a referendum. This new campaign aims to make Europe's leaders listen to the people and give them a vote on Europe's future", said Neil O'Brien from Vote 2004.

Similarly, Ronald Pabst from the European Referendum Campaign told this newsite that "it is important that the citizen of Europe be involved in decision-making".

If a deal on the Constitution is eventually reached, the next big political headache facing the EU will be ratification.

The text, which fundamentally alters the nature of the Union, must be ratified either via national parliaments or by referendum in all 25 member states.

It is highly likely that one or more states will reject the Constitution - which will leave the EU in political turmoil.

At the moment some six countries are set to have a referendum on the Constitution: Ireland, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.

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