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Why 'non' and 'nee' to the EU Constitution? Reconsidering the Shock of the Dutch and French Referenda

Grosskopf, Anke. (2007) Why 'non' and 'nee' to the EU Constitution? Reconsidering the Shock of the Dutch and French Referenda. In: UNSPECIFIED, Montreal, Canada. (Unpublished)

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    The resounding rejection of the Draft Constitution in both the French and the Dutch referenda dealt a severe blow to the European Union from which it has yet to recover. Yet much of the post-"non" and "nee" debate appears to be motivated by intrinsic political agendas rather than by deeper understanding of why the peoples of these two European Union founding members rejected the Draft Treaty. Since the failed referenda, several single-country analyses of either France or the Netherlands have been conducted that suggest a combination of soft opposition (which is an expression mostly of dissatisfaction with national governments), Euro-skepticism (which fundamentally questions the specific form of the EU), and hard opposition (which is based on nationalism and/or xenophobia). Based upon a systematic in-depth multi-variate logit analysis of why the majority of French and Dutch citizens rejected the Constitutional Treaty, this paper argues that in France, both second-order effects, as well as nationalism played a role, while most opposition was motivated by "true" negatives attitudes toward the Constitution. In the Netherlands, neither second-order effects nor nationalistic "hard" opposition played a role. Instead, Dutch attitudes derive almost exclusively from negative "true" attitudes about the Constitution. Xenophobic "hard" opposition played a role in neither country. To overcome opposition to the Constitution, the findings of this analysis point to the usefulness of changing "true" attitudes by either educating people better about the complex document, or by simplifying the Constitution drastically.

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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Treaty reform > Constitution for Europe
    Countries > France
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > political affairs > European elections/voting behavior
    Countries > Netherlands
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 2007 (10th), May 17-19, 2007
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2008
    Page Range: p. 31
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:50

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