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Ireland and the Nice Treaty. ZEI Discussion Paper: 2002, C 115

Doyle, Peter (2002) Ireland and the Nice Treaty. ZEI Discussion Paper: 2002, C 115. [Discussion Paper]

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    [Introduction.] The experience in Ireland of conducting two referenda on the Nice Treaty: Just for the record, let me remind you that the first referendum was held in June 2001, when the result was just under 54% against and just over 46% per cent in favour. The turnout was just under 35%, the second lowest in the history of referenda in Ireland and by far the lowest in referenda related to Europe. In the second referendum, held on October 19 last, there was a dramatic turn-around; 63% said "yes", 37% "no" and 51% of the electorate failed to vote. Those among you who possess agile mathematical minds will be able to work out pretty quickly that the "no" vote changed little between the two referenda; from just over 20% of the vote the first time to around 18% last month. The key to the positive result the second time around, therefore, was the higher turnout, even though half of the electorate stayed away from the polls. Put another way, many voters who are inclined to be well disposed towards the EU and who abstained last year actually turned out this time. You might well wonder why a country which has enjoyed such largesse from the EU’s coffers should appear to be so reluctant to vote in favour of further integration and enable our less-fortunate neighbours in central and eastern Europe to share in the same good fortune. Had the EU not, after all, been a major factor in the creation of the phenomenon which has come to be known as the Celtic Tiger economy.

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    Item Type: Discussion Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Countries > Ireland
    EU policies and themes > Treaty reform > enlargement
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > political affairs > European elections/voting behavior
    EU policies and themes > Treaty reform > Nice Treaty
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > University of Bonn, Center for European Integration Studies > ZEI Discussion Papers
    Depositing User: Peter Zervakis
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2003
    Page Range: p. 16
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:14

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