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CSPP IS THERE A DEMAND FOR PAN-EUROPEAN REFERENDUMS? Or SHOULD EUROPEAN INTEGRATIONISTS FEAR THE EU ELECTORATE? PROFESSOR RICHARD ROSE & DR. GABRIELA BORZ.

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Presentation on theme: "CSPP IS THERE A DEMAND FOR PAN-EUROPEAN REFERENDUMS? Or SHOULD EUROPEAN INTEGRATIONISTS FEAR THE EU ELECTORATE? PROFESSOR RICHARD ROSE & DR. GABRIELA BORZ."— Presentation transcript:

1 CSPP IS THERE A DEMAND FOR PAN-EUROPEAN REFERENDUMS? Or SHOULD EUROPEAN INTEGRATIONISTS FEAR THE EU ELECTORATE? PROFESSOR RICHARD ROSE & DR. GABRIELA BORZ Centre for the Study of Public Policy This paper is part of an British ESRC-funded project on Representing Europeans. RES and draws on the 2009 European Election Survey, organised through the Robert Schuman Centre of the European University Institute and funded by the European Commission. Presented at PIREDEU Final Conference Brussels, 18 November 2010

2 2 NORMATIVE ISSUE: How much vertical accountability should EU policymakers be subject to as agents of Europe's citizens? STATUS QUO: The European Parliament is the only participant in the EU system whose members are directly elected to their EU offices. The Council of Ministers consists of national governments that are directly elected in national elections on national issues. Most Europeans arent interested in EU politics and dont vote in EP elections. CASE FOR A PAN-EUROPEAN REFERENDUM National referendums already hold the EU to accountbut three-quarters or more of EU citizens are excluded from them There should be limits to EU policymakers pursuing integration by stealth e.g. require citizen approval of treaty changes. Participation is good in itself and increases commitments to EU decisions.

3 3 EMPIRICAL ISSUE How much popular demand is there for a pan-referendum? Figure 1 POPULAR ENDORSEMENT OF PAN-EU REFERENDUMS Q. Do you agree or disagree that EU treaty changes should be decided by referendum? Source: 2009 European Election Study in all EU member states. Number of respondents: 25,078. For details, see

4 4 Figure 2 ALL COUNTRIES ENDORSE PAN-EU REFERENDUMS Pro-referendum Source: 2009 European Election Study. Pro and anti-referendum calculated after excluding those neither for nor against. N=21,819

5 5 ALTERNATIVE THEORIES OF THE DEMAND FOR REFERENDUMS *H 1. SATISFICING: The more satisfied citizens are with the performance of governing agents, the less likely they are to demand EU referendums but the more dissatisfied they are, the more likely they are to demand referendums. *Focuses on outputs of governor not inputs of citizens *Performance can be that of national and/or EU level governments *Performance of government varies over time as does satisfaction *H 2. SUBJECTIVE COMPETENCE. Individuals with more resources will participate more in politics and be more likely to favour referendums. *Individual resources tend to be fixed, e.g. education, class *H3 NATIONAL CONTEXT. Individual assessments of referendums are influenced by national practices and EU engagement. *H 4 PERVASIVE. Majority of all political and social groups favour having a referendum.

6 6 Table 1 TESTING INDIVIDUAL ENDORSEMENT OF PAN-EU REFERENDUMS Logit b(S.E.)Exp(B) (Dis)satisfied with National Politics Approve government record -.425*** (.031).654 Positive natl economy-.008(.014).992 Satisfied democracy in country-.074 (.032).929 Immigration should decrease.558***(.030)1.747 Punish criminals more.447***(.032)1.564 Govt should not intervene economy.238*** (.031)1.269 (Dis)satisfied with EU Politics Positive EU-.083***(.015).920 Feels EU citizen-.068(.032).934 Unification going too far 107** (.033)1.113 Resourceful Participants Social class-.178***(.017).837 Education-.022 (.012).978 Standard of living.006 (.020)1.006 Interest in politics.054(.031)1.055 Close to party.038 (.030) Voted EP election.006 (.034)1.006 ______________ Constant.885*** (.075)2.423 Percentage correctly predicted69.7 Nagelkerke R-squared Log likelihood Chi square whole model *** significant at.000** at.001* at.01 Source: 2009 European Election Survey. Dependent variable: those endorsing a referendum dichotomized against those opposing or undecided. Number of respondents included in analysis: 24,614.

7 7 Location on variables Yes, positive No, negative % Pro – Referendum Significant variables Unification gone too far8276 Positive EU Immigration should fall8469 Punish criminals more8266 No govt intervention in economy8375 Middle class 7484 Approves national govt. record6983 Not significant Interested in politics7582 Close to a party7680 Voted EP election7683 Feels EU citizen7485 Positive national economy7878 Satisfied country's democracy 7384 More educated7282 Standard of living above average7382 Source: As in Figure 2. Table 2 FEARS ILL GROUNDED: REFERENDUM MAJORITIES IN ALL GROUPS

8 8 Table 3 GAP BETWEEN MEPS AND CITIZENS VIEWS OF REFERENDUMS Country Citizens MEPs Difference % pro Malta Spain Estonia Romania Hungary Latvia Luxembourg Italy Lithuania Bulgaria Slovenia Poland Slovakia Denmark Average EU France Finland United Kingdom Sweden Austria Greece Germany Cyprus Belgium Ireland Netherlands Czech Republic Portugal Pro-referendum MEPs are members of national parties endorsing a referendum as per EU Profiler analysis. For details, see Borz and Rose (2010). Sources: 2009 European Election Survey and

9 9 Figure 3 EXCLUSION OF EUROPE'S CITIZENS BY NATIONAL REFERENDUMS (Percent of citizens in member states not holding Treaty referendum) % excluded from voting Notes: Lisbon: Ireland voted; 26 countries did not. European Constitution: France, Spain, Luxembourg and Netherlands voted, 21 did not. Amsterdam: Ireland and Denmark voted, 13 countries did not. Nice: Ireland voted, 14 countries did not. Maastricht: France, Ireland and Denmark voted, 9 countries did not. Single European Act: Denmark and Ireland voted, 10 countries did not.

10 THE EFFECTIVE CHOICE An unstable status quo *Since 1992 an average of referendums every 3 years on Treaty issues *Risk of events triggering national referendums, e.g..Eurozone crisis.Enlargement in Balkans and Turkey Alternatively, adopting rules for a European referendum 1. Question set at the EU level 2. Binding or advisory? 3. Turnout requirement? 4. Double majority --electorate and countries--for enactment 5. Super majorities as well? 6. Provisions for opting out by countries defeating a proposal 10


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