Heinz Fischer, Federal President of the Republic of Austria

Heinz Fischer, president of Austria (picture European Commission)

“The negative outcome of the referendums held in two Member States has not only brought matters to a halt for the moment but also put a huge damper on the pro-Europe mood. And moods do play an essential role in politics. I consider the current practice of holding a referendum in some Member States and not in others, thereby creating a sort of “patchwork of referendums” across Europe, to be rather unsatisfactory. I would prefer to carry out an EU-wide referendum on specific matters of particular importance to Europe and to apply the system of double majority, where the referendum would be passed, if the majority of all voters and majority of the Member States were in favour. If this idea were generally welcomed in Europe it would of course also be necessary to reach agreement on the modality for adopting a decision on an EU-wide referendum.”

15 February 2006

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