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Concluding Remarks: the Constitutional Treaty Is Dead, Long Live European Constitutionalism

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Chapter Summary

The Constitutional Treaty died when the French and Dutch electorates voted 'no' to ratification in 2005. The death was formally announced by the Member States in June 2007 when it was decided to drop efforts to resuscitate the Constitution and instead negotiate another treaty called a Reform Treaty. Although the Reform Treaty will include most of the institutional innovations of the Constitutional Treaty all references to 'Constitution' have been dropped. In France an important reason for voting 'no' was the economic situation in the country, which at the time was experiencing high unemployment. In the Netherlands many voted 'no' because they felt that they knew too little about the Treaty. The defeat of the Constitutional Treaty is a defeat of direct democracy. The constitutional debacle can be explained by rational theories of politics but it is difficult to see how social constructivism can explain the abandonment of the Constitutional Treaty.

Keywords: Constitutional Treaty; European constitutionalism; French and Dutch electorates; Member States; ratification; Reform treaty

10.1163/ej.9789004168060.i-560.206
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