Thijs Berman, former MEP and journalist, argues that EU referendum debates in the Netherlands show that decades of democratisation have led to a new kind of a citizen that demands to be heard. This piece is part of the UCL European Institute’s first guest editor week on openDemocracy.
Those in the Netherlands who were in favour of the EU’s draft constitutional treaty in the 2005 referendum campaign most often naively underestimated the challenge. When the treaty was rejected by a large majority, the outcome came as a cold shower to many of them. Continue reading