chapter  3
3 European integration and the flexibility of consensus politics in the parliaments of the Low Countries
Pages 21

The chapter presents a short overview of the history of the ratification of European treaties and referendums in the Low Countries. It contains the propositions on why elites may have considered popular involvement through referendums in the ratification of European treaties. The chapter explores of the Dutch case and it allows an examination of the accuracy of the propositions, with Belgium and Luxembourg as control cases. It provides an answer to the central question as to whether the European Union (EU) has entailed the end of elitist consensus politics in the Low Countries. Different from the manifold debates in the Netherlands and Belgium, the initiative of a referendum created much less furor in Luxembourg. Immediately after the European Council had received the draft European Constitution in June 2003, Prime Minister Juncker called for a referendum.