"Constitutionalising Europe. Dutch Reactions to an Incoming Tide (1948-2005)" aims to solve the question of how the relation between the Netherlands and Europe came under pressure. Widely renowned as one of the Founding Fathers of the European Coal and Steel Community and as one of the most loyal participants of European integration in general, the Netherlands surprised friend and foe when on 1 June 2005, its people rejected by a substantial majority the European Constitution. Until now, no satisfactory explanation has been given for this. This study offers a new, long-term perspective. Based on a wealth of primary sources - i.e. parliamentary accounts, Council of State advice and interviews with key figures in the process - and a rhetorical approach, it is argued that the germ for the gap between the Dutch political elite and society at large, which became manifest on 1 June 2005, was already latently present within the identity of the Dutch polity for a long time. It is shown that the more the Netherlands stressed its identity as an open nation, the more it got estranged from its own political and constitutional character. The very zeal to constitutionalise Europe blinded the Dutch political elite for the downsides of this process for national democratic relations. In June 2005, the governmental elite paid the price for that.About the author After receiving her MA in political history (with distinction) in December 2007, Jieskje Hollander (1983) started a PhD track at the European Law department of Groningen University. Her research was funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). Intrigued by the peculiarities of national democracy, in February 2012 Hollander decided to move from the academic to the political domain. She now works for the mr. Hans van Mierlo Foundation; the think tank that aims to feed and deepen the social-liberal ideas of the political party D66.
Europa Law Publishing; June 2013
- ISBN 9789089521408
- Read online, or download in secure PDF format
- Title: Constitutionalising Europe
- Author: Jieskje Hollander
Imprint: Europa Law Publishing