“Using referendums in decision-making on the European Union: what is in it for Lithuania?”, Raivydas Rakauskas (IIRPS, Lithuania)

This commentary is a part of Jean Monnet Chair project “Teaching, researching and debating contemporary European issues” (TRENDS). The author of this commentary is Raivydas Rakauskas; he prepared one of the best policy briefs for the MA level course EU Public Policies taught by Jean Monnet Chair professor Ramūnas Vilpišauskas. This commentary briefly summarises the prepared policy brief. As the need to strengthen the involvement of citizens in the decision-making process is showcased by the launch of the Conference on the Future of Europe, this policy brief is dedicated to evaluating one of the possible options for the inclusion of the citizens – the use of referendums. Three possible designs are judged – referendums in the Member States, EU-wide referendums and mixed referendums requiring double majority. The goal of the evaluation of referendum design alternatives is to provide recommendations to Lithuanian policymakers on the position that would be the best to take if such reforms were to be seriously considered in Brussels. Assessment of design alternatives shows that any of the options might be worse than the current status quo as instalment of the EU-related referendums would lead to either increased risk of deadlock in the decision-making or reduction of negotiating powers for Lithuania.

Read more here.