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Reforming the European UnionRealizing the Impossible$
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Daniel Finke, Thomas König, Sven-Oliver Proksch, and George Tsebelis

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691153926

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691153926.001.0001

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In the Aftermath of the Negative Referendums: The Irish Resistance

In the Aftermath of the Negative Referendums: The Irish Resistance

Chapter:
(p.170) Chapter Seven In the Aftermath of the Negative Referendums: The Irish Resistance
Source:
Reforming the European Union
Author(s):

Thomas König

Daniel Finke

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691153926.003.0008

This chapter analyzes the last stage of the reform process: the role of the German Presidency in managing the reform crisis by proposing the Treaty of Lisbon and the subsequent reaction by the Irish government and voters. On 21 June 2007 the political leaders met in Brussels and agreed on a reform proposal replacing the Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe, which had been rejected by the Dutch and French voters two years earlier. The deal brokered by the German Presidency maintained the overwhelming majority of the reform issues proposed under the compromised Constitutional Treaty. The chapter examines why the Presidency favored such an encompassing reform while knowing that its ratification would be far more uncertain compared to the less ambitious proposal called a “mini-treaty” that had been circulating at the time. This is the last episode of the trial-and-error story in which a strategic, risk-taking leader finally managed to turn failure into success.

Keywords:   Treaty of Lisbon, European Union, institutional reform, German Presidency, political leaders, reform crisis

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