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Plans for German EU Referendum look rocky

Posted by Richard Thursday, September 02, 2004

Despite the earlier report on this Blog that the German Social Democrats and Greens were prepared to change the constitution to allow a referendum on the EU constitution, the opposition Christian Democratic Union and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, are opposing plans to introduce a bill.

While it is understood that both parties would be prepared to support a "one off" bill that would permit of referendum on the EU constitution, the SDP was planning something which would lift the prohibition on referendums for a wide range of purposes.

That idea has been rejected by "almost 100 percent" of the opposition members and since the CDU alone boasts 247 in the 601-strong Bundesrat – and any change needs a two-thirds majority, it is unlikely that the current SDP plan can win enough support.

Nevertheless, as always, there is room for compromise, so the issue is not necessarily dead yet.