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
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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 a Constitution that can be "sneaked in" in stages.
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.
- In Denmark, two referendums were held before the treaty of Maastricht passed. The first one rejected the treaty.
- Denmark — The Danish Maastricht Treaty referendum, 1993, 18 May 1993, 56.7% in favour, turnout 86.5%
- 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.
- Norway — Norwegian European Communities membership referendum, 1972, 25 September 1972, 53.5% against, turnout 79%
- Following the rejection by the Norwegian electorate, Norway did not join
- Norway — Norwegian European Union membership referendum, 1994, 28 November 1994, 52.2% against, turnout 89.0%
- For the second time, Norwegian voters rejected the Norwegian government's proposal to join the EU.
- Ireland — a referendum to approve the Twenty-eighth Amendment of the Constitution Bill, 2008 (Ireland), 12 June 2008, 53.2% against, turnout 53.1%
- In 2008, Irish voters rejected the Treaty of Lisbon.
- Ireland — a referendum to approve the Twenty-eighth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland, 2 October 2009, 67.1% in favour, turnout 59.0%
- 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. 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.
- Ireland — a referendum to approve the Twenty-fourth Amendment of the Constitution Bill, 2001 (Ireland), 7 June 2001, 53.9% against, turnout 34.8%
- In 2001, Irish voters rejected the Treaty of Nice, in the so-called "Nice I referendum".
- Ireland — a referendum to approve the Twenty-sixth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland, 19 October 2002, 62.9% in favour, turnout 49.5%
- 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.
- 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.
- France — French European Constitution referendum, 2005, 29 May 2005, 54.7% against, turnout 69.4%
- Netherlands — Dutch European Constitution referendum, 2005, 1 June 2005, 61.5% against, turnout 63.3%
Referendums where second referendums have not been held:
- Denmark — Danish euro referendum, 2000, 28 September 2000, 53.2% against, turnout 87.6%
- Sweden — Swedish euro referendum, 2003, 14 September 2003, 55.9% against, turnout 82.6%
- Greenland — Greenlandic European Communities membership referendum, 1982, 23 February 1982, 53.0% against