During an online meeting to discuss the EU’s “Conference on the Future of Europe”, Portugese EPP MEP Lídia Pereira made the following point:
For our younger readers, it is worth recalling that this isn’t actually something the EU has made a habit of in its history.
In 1992, A referendum on the EU’s Maastricht Treaty was held in Denmark. It was rejected by 50.7% of voters with a turnout of 83.1%.
Danish voters were asked to vote again, in 1993, (after some opt-outs were granted to the country)
In 2001, the EU’s Treaty of Nice was rejected in a referendum by Irish voters.
They were asked to vote on it again, in 2002, after the Irish government obtained
a piece of paper the Seville Declaration on Ireland’s policy of military neutrality from the European Council.
In 2005, voters in France and the Netherlands rejected the European Constitution.
This was repackaged into the Lisbon Treaty, after some symbols – like the European flag – were removed (never mind that the EU simply continues to use that flag everywhere). Valery Giscard d’Estaing, architect of the EU’s “Constitution” explained at the time that Lisbon was the same as the rejected constitution but that only the format had been changed to avoid referendums.
To avoid a referendum appeared impossible in Ireland, which rejected the Lisbon Treaty, in a 2008 referendum.
Ireland was asked to vote again on the Treaty one year later, in 2009.
Spot a pattern?