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Ireland: a Tale of Two Referenda

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Chapter Summary

Ireland's approach to the IGC 2000 was consistent with the pragmatic tradition of Irish policy towards the European Union. Ireland's position towards the IGC was one which respected previous pragmatism but which had a more ideological edge regarding Ireland's socio-economic interests. Throughout the 2000 IGC, Irish ministers and officials reiterated their support in principle and in practice for the accession of applicant states to the European Union. The Nice Referendum was just the second taking place under the terms of the Referendum Act (1998) and in conformity with a 1998 High Court ruling on the allocation of broadcast airtime to the two sides in referendum campaigns. The Nice experience has proven to be traumatic to the Irish political system and was a very sharp lesson to those planning for the ratification of the Union's Constitutional Treaty, arising from the Convention on the Future of Europe.

Keywords: European Union; IGC 2000; Ireland; Nice Referendum; Referendum Act (1998)



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