Friday

28th Feb 2020

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.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or join as a group

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.

Exclusive

EU commissioner lobbied by energy firm he owns shares in

EU budget commissioner Johannes Hahn owns 2,200 shares in Austria's largest electricity provider. Those shares have tripled in value since he first declared them in 2014. In January, the firm met his head of cabinet to discuss climate policy.

EU transparency on lobbyist meetings still piecemeal

Small steps are being made to reveal who is lobbying who within the EU. But the approach is basically haphazard and piecemeal - meaning the public remains largely in the dark and unable to truly scrutinise the influencers.

'Top-down' future of Europe conference 'will fail' warning

The new president of the Committee of the Regions has warned the EU Commission that a top-down, centralised, Brussels-driven conference will fail to rebuild trust in Europe. Instead, he proposes a stronger say for local and regional authorities.

'Law of silence' reigns over EESC leaders, says staff union

The secretary-general of the European Economic and Social Committee, an EU institution, has been accused by a trade union representing staff for perpetuating a "law of silence" amid a flurry of abuse allegations against its likely future president Jacek Krawczyk.

Exclusive

Selmayr did not want top job, says predecessor

The controversial Martin Selmayr never wanted the promotion to top EU civil servant, according to his predecessor. That short-lived promotion saw criticism from both the European Ombudsman and the European Parliament as inflicting "reputational damage" on the EU.

News in Brief

  1. Member states spent €106bn on environmental protection
  2. Report: UK will not participate in European Arrest Warrant
  3. New Heathrow runway ruled illegal over climate change
  4. Greece pledges to prevent coronavirus reaching islands
  5. Johnson threatens to torpedo Brexit trade talks
  6. Spanish and Catalan government to meet monthly
  7. EU open to budget leniency on virus impact
  8. Chechen blogger survives attack in Poland

This is the (finally) approved European Commission

MEPs gave the green light to the entire new European Commission during the plenary session in Strasbourg - but with the abstention of the Greens and a rejection by the leftist group GUE/NGL.

Magazine

Welcome to the EU engine room

Welcome to the EU engine room: the European Parliament (EP's) 22 committees, which churn out hundreds of new laws and non-binding reports each year and which keep an eye on other European institutions.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersScottish parliament seeks closer collaboration with the Nordic Council
  2. UNESDAFrom Linear to Circular – check out UNESDA's new blog
  3. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December

Latest News

  1. Borrell in Africa: Continent 'needs guns' for stability
  2. EU experts: closing borders 'ineffective' for coronavirus
  3. Dear EPP: Please, please expel Orban
  4. WHO on coronavirus in Europe: 'be prepared'
  5. Frontex hits activist pair with €24,000 legal bill
  6. Turkish jets keep violating Greek airspace
  7. 'Fragmented' Slovakia goes to polls amid corruption woes
  8. EU development policy needs a fresh start

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us