The 2005 Referendums of France and the Netherlands

Ratification of the European Constitution: An Analysis of Results From The Netherlands* and *France
The French Referendum on a treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe was held on the 29th of May 2005 to decide whether France should ratify the proposed Constitution of the European Union. The result was a victory for the "No" campaign, with 55% of voters rejecting the treaty on a turnout of 69%. France was the first country to reject the treaty and the second to go to the polls. The Netherlands were close behind with 61.6% of Dutch voters saying no to the constitution on the 1 June 2005, these where the only two member states of the European Union to reject the treaty. To identify the reasons behind the “no” votes for each referendum, we will need to take a closer look at some of the contextual and determining factors proposed by political theorists. This will be done through analysis of quantitative and qualitative data.
Before a European Union treaty can enter into force, it must be ratified by all member states. Ratification takes different forms in each country, depending on its traditions, constitutional arrangements and political processes. Most member states traditionally ratify EU treaties following parliamentary votes, while some also hold referendums. As a reaction to what was seen as the novel nature of the Constitution, many advocates and opponents of the Constitution argued that it should be subjected to referendums across the European Union. The results of the Referendums can be found on this table through this link: “” This table shows that the majority of member states voted yes, however two member states voted no and had above average turnouts of participation, France, with a 54.68% to 45.32% against, and the Netherlands with 61.54% to 38.46% against. To understand these results we will first take a closer look at the stipulations of the Treaty establishing a...