Saturday , May 25 2024

EU Second Referendums and Ignoring Referendums – The EU Democratic Deficit

The countries of the EU have often staged referendums about the terms of membership.  About 20% of all of these referendums have gone against the EU. (see Wikipedia: EU Referendums).

Second referendums are frequent in the EU if the decision on the first goes against EU policy.  There have been nine major referendums on substantial membership issues that went against the EU. Three were ignored and four resulted in second referendums.  Three of the four referendums were overturned on the second referendum.

The two second referendums in Ireland followed intense periods of “project fear” propaganda by the Irish government. The Irish were promised neutrality and permanent commissioners to change their vote but have now joined the EU Defence Pact and commissioners are appointed on a rotating basis. The Danish referendum on Maastricht was overturned on a second referendum because opt outs were promised. Since Lisbon (2009) these opt outs are in serious jeopardy due to the new flexibility of EU decision making.

The other approach taken to referendums that antagonise the EU is just to ignore them.  The Greek bailout referendum was ignored by the Greek Government.  The French and Dutch rejected the EU constitution which was then quietly dropped by the EU to be replaced by the Lisbon Treaty in 2009. The Lisbon Treaty reads word for word the same as the Constitution in many places but contains Articles that can only be forced on Member States by a unanimous vote in the EU Council (See flexibility of EU decision making).  Lisbon is an EU Constitution that can be “sneaked in” in stages without the need for further Treaties.

The EU has been so successful at bullying populations into line that they now call democracy “populism”. Populism can sometimes be overcome with scaremongering and, as can be seen above, lies, by the EU and member states. There is a clear pattern in the EU of permitting democracy so long as it gives the desired result.

The pressure for a second referendum in the UK is suspiciously identical to the methods used in Ireland:

Who is doing this in both Ireland and the UK?  There have been no successful campaigns for second referendums where the first referendums have favoured the EU…except the UK Brexit. It took almost half a century for the UK to get a second referendum on EU membership but EU and Corporate interests are spending millions campaigning for a third referendum in the UK after only 2 years.

The Culprits 

The main opposition to both the Irish Referendum and the UK Referendum is the European Movement.  This was set up by the US and UK governments to promote European Union as a bulwark against the USSR in the Cold War (See Creation of the EU).

The European Movement founded both of the principle Remain organisations in the UK and Ireland: “StrongerIn” in the UK Referendum and the “Irish Alliance for Europe” in the Republic of Ireland Referendums. (See Funding of StrongerIn).  Almost half of the funding for the Irish branch of the European Movement in 2017 was provided by the Irish Government.

The main organ of the European Movement is the Bilderberg Group, established by the movement in the 1950s.  Nowadays it is difficult to discern whether the European Movement runs Bilderberg or vice versa.  Bilderberg does not directly implement its policies but delegates responsibility (ie: the US bank, Goldman Sachs, was responsible for start up funding of StrongerIn).  Mark Carney, Amber Rudd and George Osborne attended the last (June 2018) Bilderberg Meeting in Turin.

Referendums that rejected EU policy and second referendums in the EU: 

In Denmark, two referendums were held before the treaty of Maastricht passed. The first one rejected the treaty.
After the defeat of the treaty in the first refererendum, Denmark negotiated and received four opt-outs from portions of the treaty: Economic and Monetary Union, Union Citizenship, Justice and Home Affairs, and Common Defence. The second referendum approved the treaty amended with the opt-outs.
Following the rejection by the Norwegian electorate, Norway did not join
For the second time, Norwegian voters rejected the Norwegian government’s proposal to join the EU.
In 2008, Irish voters rejected the Treaty of Lisbon.
After the first vote by Ireland on the Lisbon Treaty, the European Council and the Irish Government released separate documents, referred to as the “Irish Guarantees”, that stated the other member countries would not use the possibility in the Treaty to diminish the number of permanent commissioners in favour of a rotating system with fewer commissioners, and not threaten Ireland’s military neutrality and rules on abortion.[1][2]With these assurances, the Irish approved the unchanged Lisbon Treaty in a second referendum. The EU now uses rotating commissioners and Ireland is part of PESCO, the EU defence forces pact.
In 2001, Irish voters rejected the Treaty of Nice, in the so-called “Nice I referendum”.
In the so-called “Nice II referendum” in 2002, statements on Ireland not having to join a common defence policy and affirming the right to decide on enhanced cooperation in the national parliament were stressed in a special document, resulting in a favourable vote. Ireland is now part of PESCO, the new EU defence pact.

Referendums that have simply been ignored:

A referendum on the bailout conditions in the Greek government-debt crisis. A majority of the voters rejected the bailout conditions. However, shortly afterwards the government accepted a bailout with even harsher conditions than the ones rejected by the voters.

The Lisbon Treaty allows the EU Council to introduce the European Constitution in stages without Treaty Change – see Flexibility in EU Decision Making.  This was why the UK Government happily promised the UK a referendum on any further Treaty change.

Referendums where second referendums have not been held:


This post was originally published by the author on his personal blog:

About John Sydenham

Dr John Sydenham has worked in International Pharmaceuticals and for one of the "big four" International Consultancies. He ran a successful company for 15 years and after selling the company devotes his time to travel, science, black labradors and freedom.

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