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An EU-wide referendum: Potential threat or tool of empowerment?


In recent years, the permissive consensus, which once allowed the EU to pursue its integration process without directly consulting its citizens, has eroded in parallel with rising criticism of its democratic deficit. The introduction of the European Citizens’ Initiative as a tool of transnational direct democracy has done little to alter the EU’s technocratic reputation. This chapter explores whether the institutionalisation of an EU-wide referendum could be of use in reinvigorating integration and conferring democratic legitimacy on the Union.

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