Ratification and Implementation
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Ever since EU member state governments in the mid-1980s embarked on what has become a seemingly never-ending process of treaty change, the need to secure ratification against a backdrop of increasing political and popular opposition to further integration has cast its shadow over the negotiation of EU treaties. Over time, particularly in the light of the Danish ‘no’ to the TEU in the 1992 referendum, the slender majority for the Treaty in France later that summer, and the Irish people’s initial rejection of the Treaty of Nice in 2001, the shadow has become longer and for some member states increasingly darker as domestic opposition to further European integration has grown. The shadow was particularly in evidence during 2005–2007 following the Constitutional Treaty’s emphatic rejection in the referendums in France and the Netherlands. Exacerbating the situation were lingering doubts as to whether voters in other member states would have approved the Constitutional Treaty if its ratification had not been abandoned. There were clear indications that the votes in at least Poland, the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom would have been close-run affairs and possibly lost. Furthermore, even though it became clear in 2007 that the Constitutional Treaty per se was being abandoned calls for a referendum on any replacement persisted.
KeywordsMember State European Council Irish Government Constitutional Treaty Irish People
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