28th Feb 2020

Dutch referendum date announced

  • The EU Constitution treaty was signed in Rome on 29 October 2004 (Photo: European Commission)

The Netherlands will hold a referendum on the European Constitution on 1 June, it was announced on Wednesday (23 February).

The vote will be the first in the country's history and will be non-binding, with the Dutch Parliament having the final say.

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

Nevertheless, the political parties representing the majority in parliament have said they will respect the results if there is a high turnout.

The question Dutch voters will be invited to answer on 1 June will be: "Are you for or against the Netherlands agreeing to the treaty to establish a constitution for Europe?"

Negative sentiment increasing

The Netherlands is one of the founding members of the EU. However, recent Eurobarometer polls have shown it is one of the countries where negative EU sentiment is on the rise.

And a recent poll showed a majority in favour of the "no" campaign, with 29 percent in favour and 42 percent opposed.

Dutch politicians are less divided on the subject, as all the main political parties in the Netherlands support the Treaty.

Opponents include the leftist Socialist Party, two small Protestant parties, and the group of recently emerged populist politician Geert Wilders.

Nine other EU governments will hold a referendum on the Constitutional treaty, and 15 will ratify it by Parliamentary vote.

Spain's voters said a firm "yes" to the Constitution last Sunday (20 February), but the turnout was low (42.3 percent).

France and Luxembourg are due to hold referenda in the first half of 2005.

Hungary, Lithuania and Slovenia have already ratified the Constitution via their national parliaments.

The Constitution must be ratified by all 25 member states to come into force, the deadline being the end of October 2006.


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.


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.

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.


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. WHO on coronavirus in Europe: 'be prepared'
  2. Frontex hits activist pair with €24,000 legal bill
  3. Turkish jets keep violating Greek airspace
  4. 'Fragmented' Slovakia goes to polls amid corruption woes
  5. EU development policy needs a fresh start
  6. EU critical of China on Swedish dissident publisher
  7. NGOs urge EU to tackle meat consumption 'problem'
  8. Coronavirus: voices from a quarantined Italian town

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us