21st Mar 2018

Luxembourg says yes to EU constitution

  • Luxembourg said yes (Photo: EUobserver)

Luxembourg said yes to the European constitution on Sunday (10 July), with 56.52 percent of its citizens voting in favour of the treaty, and 43.48 percent against, according to the Luxembourg government's figures.

The exact question Luxembourgers had to answer during the compulsory referendum was "Are you in favour of the treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, signed in Rome on 29 October 2004?"

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Despite the fact that Luxembourgers had the same fears as the Dutch and French voters – amongst others, that the document might endanger some of the social "acquis" and facilitate immigration – Luxembourg has now become the 13th country to ratify the document.

The decision of prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker, who said he would resign if the treaty was rejected, might have influenced the voters, some said.

Almost all the political parties in Luxembourg also backed the treaty, and the Chamber of Deputies ratified the document in first reading on 28 June, saying that a second reading would follow three months later only if the referendum result was positive.

The Grand Duchy is the second country to endorse the treaty by referendum after Spain did so in February this year.

It is also the only country to have maintained its referendum after both French and Duch voters rejected the treaty on 29 May and 1 June respectively.

Other member states that had planned to hold a popular consultation – the UK, Denmark, Portugal, Poland, Ireland - shelved their referendum plans after the decision of the European summit in June to put the ratification process on ice.

The Czech republic, undecided until then, also announced it would not hold a referendum.

Last week, Mr Juncker had expressed hopes that a yes by Luxembourg might revive the treaty, given that the country is a founding member of the EU.

However, Mr Juncker's optimism is not shared by everybody.

"Luxembourg’s popular prime minister got as expected a vote of confidence, but this will not revive the constitution", said Danish Eurosceptic MEP Jens-Peter Bonde in a first reaction to the vote.

European People's Party President Wilfried Martens welcomed the result of the Luxembourg referendum on the European Constitution.

"This result shows that, despite the setbacks in France and the Netherlands, the spirit of the European Constitution continues to be strong," he said.

Commission rejects ombudsman criticism over Barroso case

The European Commission repeated that it followed the rules when its former head joined Goldman Sachs - and suggested it will not follow the EU Ombudsman's demand to refer the case back to the ethics committee.

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