Content Section

The Content section will provide news, quotes and background materials refering to the topic of the EU Constitution. The time-table will give you an overview about the current status concerning the referendums on the Constitution.


Netherlands: turnout of 50 - 70% expected

More than 12 million of the Netherlands' 16.3 million inhabitants are entitled to vote in today’s referendum on the EU COnstitution. They all received a voting card several weeks ago. The question put before the voters is: 'Are you for or against the acceptance by the Netherlands of the Treaty for the establishment of a Constitution for Europe?' Apart from yes and no voters may also choose to vote “undecided”. In that case, they will still be included in the turnout. But how the politicians will interpret these votes remains unclear for now.

The ballot boxes, 9,500 throughout the country, will be open from 7.30 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Nedap company has supplied 87 percent of the voting machines. Only in Amsterdam, Arnhem and some smaller towns will voting go the old-fashioned way with paper and pencil.

The temporary referendum act, meanwhile abolished, determined that the result of referenda was only binding if turnout exceeded 30 percent. Today's referendum was however called via a separate Lower House bill in which no conditions or requirements were included. But a broad House majority has indicated it will adopt the result if turnout exceeds 30 percent. Polls predict a turnout between 50 and 78 percent.


The Dutch people are not convinced of the advantages of the Constitution. "The European Constitution causes serious damage to you" says this graphic by Jan Hontelez, Nijmegen.