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The Irish and Danish 1972 Referendums on EC Accession

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The political background for the referendums in Ireland and Denmark in 1972 was quite similar. The referendums were caused by the successful result of four countries' application of membership of the European Communities in 1970-71, and for both countries the UK's central position in the applications process was important, both politically and economically. However, the referendums were regulated by different constitutional rules in Ireland and Denmark, as EC membership required an amendment of the Irish constitution-which required a referendum-whereas the Danish referendum was called because a five-sixths majority for the delegation of sovereignty was not achieved. Nevertheless, similar, intense public debates took place in both countries and the result was a similarly high 'Yes'-vote as well as a high turnout. It goes without saying that few policy decisions have had such profound impact on life in the two countries as the EC/EU membership, both with regard to their economic and social development. Furthermore, the 1972 referendums in the two countries marked the first step into a new era with an element of direct democracy about European integration.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of European Referendums
EditorsJulie Smith
Number of pages19
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication year2021
ISBN (print)978-3-030-55802-4
ISBN (electronic)978-3-030-55803-1
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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