By / November 30, 2016

Possibility of referendum on the ratification of international agreements

Possibility of referendum on the ratification of international agreements

Possibility of referendum on the ratification of international agreements

Referendums for ratification of IAs are possible in the majority of Member States. Which countries allow for that possibility in a specific case depends on the type of IA. Some Member States exclude the possibility of a referendum for ratification of an IA but allow/require referendums in case of constitutional change, transfer of sovereign powers or EU membership (Estonia, Italy, Latvia, Poland and Slovenia). The possibility of a referendum for IA ratification is rarely mentioned expressly in national constitutions or applicable legislation (e.g. France and the Netherlands which specifically allow for referendums on ratification of IAs), but on the other hand a referendum for ratification is not excluded under existing legislative provisions. In Denmark and Hungary there is no possibility of a referendum on the obligations arising from existing IAs. The Czech Republic provides for a referendum only in the case of transferring sovereign powers. Belgium and Germany do not allow referendums for ratification of an IA. Belgium provides for referendums only at regional level, while in Germany, a referendum is possible only in connection with a revision of the country’s existing territorial division. Cyprus does not have provisions on referendums in the constitution, but has adopted a law providing for the possibility.


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