EUD calls on the EU and national governments to respect the will of the peopleApril 19th, 2016
In Greece, Denmark and the Netherlands the public recently has rejected EU proposals and in the United Kingdom the campaign on remaining or leaving the EU has officially started today. The EUD stresses the importance of public consent for any settlement with the EU and welcomes the UK referendum.
While the leader of the Green group in the European Parliament Rebecca Harms reportedly stated that referendums could “endanger the existence of the EU”, the EUD welcomes every opportunity for citizens to have their say on EU issues. Efforts to limit referendums to non-EU issues only are based on fear of the will of the people and should be discontinued.
In the Netherlands a grassroots campaign had collected 427 000 signatures within six weeks forcing the Government to hold a consultative referendum on the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. By a wide margin of 61 to 31 percentage the public rejected the pro-EU position of the Government, while ignoring the fear-laden interventions of EU-elites.
The EUD calls on the governments in Greece, Denmark and the Netherlands to respect the will of their citizens and secure agreements with the EU in line with the will of the ultimate sovereign body, the citizenry.
The EUD firmly believes:
- That referendums enhance the democratic process by giving voters greater opportunities for involvement in and engagement with politics.
- That referendums are the purest form of democracy and serve an important public education and information function by actively engaging the voters and asking them to choose sides on a policy issue.
- That referendums serve as an important reminder to the political elite that they derive their ultimate democratic authority from the consent of the people.
- That referendums also give the citizenry a chance to reshape the political division of labour between citizens and legislators. At a time when public trust in elected representatives is plummeting, referendums can serve to increase public trust for political institutions.