Volume 17 (2011) / Issue 1
On 2 October 2009, the Irish electorate, in a mandatory and legally binding referendum, approved the Treaty of Lisbon (hereinafter ‘Lisbon Treaty’).That vote, followed by the signing of the Lisbon Treaty by the Czech President on 3 November 2009, completed the ratification process of the Lisbon Treaty and paved the way for its entry into force. The corpus of literature on the ratification of EU Treaty revisions, particularly on national referenda on European integration, is growing. According to the taxonomy offered by Taggart, scholarship on national referenda on European integration can be classified into four broad categories. The first pertains to the broader normative issue of direct democracy; the second, to single-case, national studies; the third, to the dynamics of referenda in general; and the fourth, to models of turnout and of outcomes. The focus of this contribution is somewhat different. Its focal point is the two Irish referenda and other major milestones in the ratification process of the Lisbon Treaty in the other EU Member States. Yet its objective is to go beyond Irish socio-political borders and to probe the broad constitutional implications and ramifications of the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty for the future of European integration.
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