The Politics of Ratification of EU Treaties: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Politics of Ratification of EU Treaties

1st Edition

By Carlos Closa


232 pages

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Since its inception, the European Union (EU) has revised its foundational treaties several times, resulting in national ratification processes involving different actors, with varying success. This book focuses on the politics of ratification of EU Treaties and reviews the processes of ratification of EU primary legislation.

Existing research and academic debate on EU constitutional politics have almost exclusively focussed on negotiation of new treaties and their institutional setting. However, this book explains how the result of ratification was achieved, and analyses the strategy that actors pursue across Europe. Ratification of the Treaty of Maastricht and the EU Constitution failed totally, whilst other ratification can be considered partial failures such as the Irish Nice and Lisbon referendums. As the EU Constitution has proved, the ratification process may have deep effects unforeseen during the processes of negotiation. In recent years, ratification has produced some of the most intense debates on national membership of the EU and the EU itself.

The Politics of Ratification of EU Treaties will be of interest to students and researchers of European Studies, European Union studies, European Union Law and European Union Politics.


"Covering eight treaties, with 118 national ratification processes, has been a big job. Closa deserves credit for carrying out this job. The amount of detail is impressive. Closa has succeeded in locating the necessary studies, even about ratification of the original treaties, and in making sense comparatively of this welter of information. In the end, success requires successful framing – some would prefer to say leadership, a term Closa uses more sparingly than framing. Some rationalist scholars, including this reviewer, would prefer to talk about leadership as a decisive ingredient of success in overcoming ‘collective action’ problems, without ignoring social constructivist explanations."

- Finn Laursen, European Political Science,

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Mapping out Ratification 2. The History of the Ratification Rules in the EU Treaties: Why they have not Changed? 3. The Role of National Parliaments 4. National Constitutions and EU Constitutional Change 5. The Role of Domestic Courts (Constitutional Courts and Advisory Bodies) in Ratification 6. Ratification Referendums 7. Citizens and Public Opinion: The Background for Ratification 8. Convergence and Divergence in Ratification Politics 9. Conclusion: Ratification and EU Constitutional Politics

About the Author

Carlos Closa is Professor at the IPP-CSIC in Madrid, Spain, and Senior Fellow at the Global Governance Programme at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / Treaties