Country Information

This section provides information about the EU countries. Currently eleven states have decided to hold a referendum on the EU Constitution. The question is still undecided in eight member states, while in five countries it seems to be unlikely, that a referendum will be held. The Parliament of Lithuania has already ratified the constitution.

 

Referendums on European issues



A useful tool with growing importance

In the history of the European Union, forty-one referendums have been held across Europe. Thirty were held in member states of the European Community or its successor, the European Union.

In thirty-two cases the citizens voted in favour of an increased European integration, and on nine occasions more sceptical attitudes prevailed.

In twenty seven referendums citizens were consulted on the question of whether to join the EC/EU, and in eleven cases issues of further integration were decided. Three referendums were held on other more exceptional topics (France in 1972, Greenland in 1982, and Italy in 1989).

On average, two-thirds of the electorates have participated in these referendums, and consequently these decisions carry considerable legitimacy.

  

Conclusions

1. Referendums on EU questions are the modern and appropriate tool to decide about the future of the EU.

2. A no-vote in a referendum never lead to a withdrawal of the concerned state (except in Greenland that voted on that very question).