Recent publications from the Institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael’ – Spring 2016



Adriaan Schout, Why a national referendum does not work, but a European one will

In this article, Adriaan Schouts reflects on the broader implications of the recent Dutch referendum on the EU-Ukraine association agreement. According to the author, the Dutch events have proven how a national referendum can paralyse joint decision making.

Against the background of the ongoing debate on the alleged European democratic deficit, the author claims that the Netherlands should launch a discussion in the EU on whether national referenda on EU-wide issues should be replaced by EU-wide referenda.

This ‘no’ is not only a Dutch problem, argues Adriaan Schout, but calls for a structural European democratic response. Other countries, too, will have to ask themselves whether this may provide a solution to the democratic deficit.

The full article can be accessed here.