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This is a list of referendums related to the European Union, or "referendums related to the "European Communities, which were predecessors of the "European Union. Since 1972, a total of 48 referendums have been held by "EU member states, candidate states, and their territories, with several additional referendums held in countries outside of the EU. The referendums have been held most commonly on the subject of whether to become a member of "European Union as part of the accession process, although the EU does not require any candidate country to hold a referendum to approve membership or as part of "treaty ratification. Other EU-related referendums have been held on the adoption of the "euro and on participation in other EU-related policies.
The "United Kingdom is the only EU member state to have held referendums on continued membership of the European Union and its antecedent organisation, the "European Communities. In the "first referendum in 1975, continued membership of what was then the "European Communities (which included the "European Economic Community, often referred to as the Common Market in the UK)[nb 1] was approved by 67.2% of voters, while in its "second referendum in 2016 voters voted by 51.9% to leave the European Union.[nb 2]
"Greenland, an autonomous territory of Denmark, voted to leave the EC in a "referendum in 1982 by 53% of voters.
- 1 EC enlargement of 1973
- 2 United Kingdom's European Communities membership, 1975
- 3 Greenland's European Communities membership, 1982
- 4 Single European Act
- 5 Maastricht Treaty
- 6 EU enlargement of 1995
- 7 Treaty of Amsterdam, 1998
- 8 Treaty of Nice, 2001
- 9 EU enlargement of 2004
- 10 Euro
- 11 European Constitution, 2005
- 12 Treaty of Lisbon
- 13 EU enlargement of 2013
- 14 European Fiscal Compact, 2012
- 15 San Marino membership application
- 16 Unified Patent Court
- 17 Greek bailout referendum, 2015
- 18 Danish EU opt-out referendum, 2015
- 19 Dutch Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement referendum, 2016
- 20 United Kingdom's European Union membership, 2016
- 21 Hungarian migrant quota referendum, 2016
- 22 Future EU enlargements
- 23 Agreements between Switzerland and the EU
- 24 References
EC enlargement of 1973
In 1972, four countries held referendums on the subject of the "1973 enlargement of the European Communities.
- Before allowing the four new candidate member states to join the "European Communities, founding member "France held a referendum that approved this. Following the French approval, three of the four candidate states (Ireland, Denmark and Norway) likewise held referendums on the issue of joining the "European Communities. The "United Kingdom did not hold a referendum before joining.
- Following the rejection by the Norwegian electorate, Norway did not join.
Denmark, Ireland, and the United Kingdom were admitted as members of the EC, acceding on 1 January 1973.
United Kingdom's European Communities membership, 1975
- The "Conservative government of "Edward Heath did not hold a referendum before the "United Kingdom joined the "European Communities in 1973. The "Labour Party's manifesto for the "1974 general election included a pledge for an in-out referendum after a renegotiation of its membership. Accordingly, after Labour won under "Harold Wilson, the "referendum was held on whether to remain in the Communities after a renegotiation of its membership. The result was in favour of remaining.
Greenland's European Communities membership, 1982
- In 1973, Greenland joined the European communities as part of Denmark. However, after the establishment of home-rule and eurosceptic "Siumut winning the "1979 Greenlandic parliamentary election, a referendum on membership was agreed upon, in which the voters rejected remaining part of the communities. This resulted in Greenland negotiating the terms of the its separation from the EU, resulting in the "Greenland Treaty, and Greenland's leaving the communities in 1985.
Single European Act
Two referendums were held in EU countries to permit them to ratify the "Single European Act.
- Before the negotiations on the "treaty of Maastricht began, "Italy held a consultative referendum in order to give the "European Parliament a popular mandate to elaborate a future European Constitution. After the treaty was signed, three countries held referendums on its ratification.
- "Ireland — a referendum to approve the "Eleventh Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland, 18 June 1992, 69.1% in favour, turnout 57.3%
- "France — "French Maastricht Treaty referendum, 1992, 20 September 1992, 51.0% in favour, turnout 69.7%
- "Denmark — The "Danish Maastricht Treaty referendum, 1992, 2 June 1992, 50.7% against, turnout 83.1%
- In Denmark, two referendums were held before the treaty of Maastricht passed. The first one rejected the treaty.
- After the defeat of the treaty in the first refererendum, Denmark negotiated and received four opt-outs from portions of the treaty: "Economic and Monetary Union, Union Citizenship, Justice and Home Affairs, and Common Defence. The second referendum approved the treaty amended with the opt-outs.
EU enlargement of 1995
In 1994, four countries, and one dependency, held referendums on membership of the EU, resulting in the "1995 enlargement of the European Union.
- "Austria — "Austrian European Union membership referendum, 1994, 12 June 1994, 66.6% in favour, turnout 82.3%
- "Finland — "Finnish European Union membership referendum, 1994, 16 October 1994, 56.9% in favour, turnout 70.8%
- "Sweden — "Swedish European Union membership referendum, 1994, 13 November 1994, 52.3% in favour, turnout 83.3%
- "Åland Islands — "Ålandic European Union membership referendum, 1994, 20 November 1994, 73.6% in favour, turnout 49.1%
- The Åland Islands, a semi-autonomous dependency of Finland, also voted on their accession to the European Union. The favourable vote meant that EU law would apply also to the Åland Islands.
- For the second time, Norwegian voters rejected the Norwegian government's proposal to join the EU.
Austria, Sweden, and Finland were admitted as members of the EU, acceding on 1 January 1995.
Treaty of Amsterdam, 1998
Two countries held referendums on the ratification of the "treaty of Amsterdam.
Treaty of Nice, 2001
- In 2001, Irish voters rejected the "Treaty of Nice, in the so-called "Nice I referendum".
- In the so-called "Nice II referendum" in 2002, statements on Ireland not having to join a common defence policy and affirming the right to decide on enhanced cooperation in the national parliament were stressed in a special document, resulting in a favourable vote.
EU enlargement of 2004
The "2004 enlargement of the European Union involved ten candidate states, eight from Central and Eastern Europe, and the "Mediterranean islands of "Malta and "Cyprus. In 2003, referendums on joining the EU were held in all these nations except Cyprus.
- "Malta — "Maltese European Union membership referendum, 2003, 8 March 2003, 53.6% in favour, turnout 90.9%
- "Slovenia — "Slovenian European Union and NATO membership referendum, 2003, 23 March 2003, 89.6% in favour, turnout 60.2%
- "Hungary — "Hungarian European Union membership referendum, 2003, 12 April 2003, 83.8% in favour, turnout 45.6%
- "Lithuania — "Lithuanian European Union membership referendum, 2003, 10–11 May 2003, 91.9% in favour, turnout 63.4%
- "Slovakia — "Slovak European Union membership referendum, 2003, 16–17 May 2003, 93.7% in favour, turnout 52.1%
- "Poland — "Polish European Union membership referendum, 2003, 7–8 June 2003, 77.5% in favour, turnout 58.9%
- "Czech Republic — "Czech European Union membership referendum, 2003, 13–14 June 2003, 77.3% in favour, turnout 55.2%
- "Estonia — "Estonian European Union membership referendum, 2003, 14 September 2003, 66.8% in favour, turnout 64.1%
- "Latvia — "Latvian European Union membership referendum, 2003, 20 September 2003, 67.5% in favour, turnout 71.5%
Since the results were in favourable in all cases, all ten candidate countries were admitted as members of the EU, acceding on 1 May 2004.
Denmark and the United Kingdom received opt-outs from the Maastricht Treaty and do not have to join the "euro unless they choose to do so; Sweden has not received an opt-out, yet deliberately does not live up to the requirements for joining for now. Two referendums have been held on the issue up to now, both of which rejected accession.
European Constitution, 2005
Several member states used or intended to use referendums to ratify the "Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe (TCE).
- "Spain — "Spanish European Constitution referendum, 2005, 20 February 2005, 81.8% in favour, turnout 41.8%
- "France — "French European Constitution referendum, 2005, 29 May 2005, 54.7% against, turnout 69.4%
- "Netherlands — "Dutch European Constitution referendum, 2005, 1 June 2005, 61.5% against, turnout 63.3%
- "Luxembourg — "Luxembourgian European Constitution referendum, 2005, 10 July 2005, 56.5% in favour, turnout 90.4%
Referendums were planned, but not held, in:
Treaty of Lisbon
Only one member state, "Ireland, obliged by their constitution, decided on ratification of the "Treaty of Lisbon through a referendum.
- In 2008, Irish voters rejected the Treaty of Lisbon.
- After the first vote by Ireland on the Lisbon Treaty, the "European Council and the Irish Government released separate documents, referred to as the "Irish Guarantees", that stated the other member countries would not use the possibility in the Treaty to diminish the number of permanent commissioners in favour of a rotating system with fewer commissioners, and not threaten Ireland's military neutrality and rules on abortion. With these assurances, the Irish approved the unchanged Lisbon Treaty in a second referendum.
EU enlargement of 2013
Croatia was admitted as a member of the EU, acceding on 1 July 2013.
European Fiscal Compact, 2012
San Marino membership application
A referendum was held in San Marino on whether the country should submit an "application to join the European Union as a full member state.
Unified Patent Court
The Unified Patent Court is a proposed court between several EU member states, that, inter alia, is to be constituted for litigation related to the "European Union patent.
Greek bailout referendum, 2015
- A referendum on the bailout conditions in the "Greek government-debt crisis. A majority of the voters rejected the bailout conditions. However, shortly afterwards the government accepted a bailout with even harsher conditions than the ones rejected by the voters.
Danish EU opt-out referendum, 2015
- The referendum was held to decide on converting the opt-out from participation in the area of "Justice and Home Affairs area into an opt-in: the possibility for the Danes to decide on a case-by-case basis. The voters rejected the proposal.
Dutch Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement referendum, 2016
- A consultative referendum upon a request of 427,939 Dutch citizens, based on the "Advisory Referendum Act 2015.
United Kingdom's European Union membership, 2016
- In February 2016, the "Conservative government of "David Cameron negotiated ""a new settlement for Britain in the EU" which was then followed by a referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union in the "United Kingdom and "Gibraltar. The "result was for the UK to leave the EU and the deal was discarded.
Hungarian migrant quota referendum, 2016
- A referendum was held to decide whether Hungary should accept migrant quotas imposed by the EU without the National Assembly's approval or not. The turnout was too low to make the poll valid.
Future EU enlargements
Countries which "seek to join the European Union in the future may hold a referendum as part of the accession process. In addition, Article 88-5 of the "Constitution of France requires a referendum there to ratify any future accession treaty. Politicians in other existing members have proposed referendums in their states, particularly with reference to the "accession of Turkey.
There is discussion amongst eurosceptic parties and movements across the EU to hold their own referendums on EU membership since the referendum in the UK.
Agreements between Switzerland and the EU
- "Switzerland — 1972: Free trade agreement with the EC, 72.5% in favour
- "Switzerland — 1992: "EEA Agreement with all EU member states and all EFTA member states as well as the European Communities, 50.3% against
- "Switzerland — 1997: Requiring the approval of a referendum and the Cantons to launch accession negotiations with the EU, 74.1% against
- "Switzerland — 2000: "Bilateral I agreements with the EU, 67.2% in favour
- "Switzerland — 2001: Opening negotiations for EU membership, 76.8% against
- "Switzerland — 2005: "Schengen Agreement and the "Dublin Regulation, 54.6% in favour
- "Switzerland — 2005: "Freedom of movement for workers, to include "10 new EU members, 56.0% in favour
- "Switzerland — 2006: Cohesion contribution of one billion for the ten new member states of the EU, 53.4% in favour
- "Switzerland — 2009: "Freedom of movement for workers, to include "two new EU members, 59.6% in favour
- "Switzerland — 2009: Introduction of "biometric passports, as required by the Schengen acquis, 50.1% in favour
- "Switzerland — 2014: Freedom of movement for workers to be reduced, 50.3% in favour
- ^ The 1975 United Kingdom European Communities membership referendum question was as follows: "Do you think the United Kingdom should stay in the European Community (the Common Market)?"
- ^ The 2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum question was as follows: "Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?"