British referendum on leaving the EU turned out to be extremely contagious. Immediately the whole group of European countries leading politicians declare their desire to hold similar plebiscites. And very much depends on who was the first British repeat the maneuver. Who can become the weakest link among the continental Europeans?
On Friday, Czech President Milos Zeman called for a national referendum on the country’s membership in the European Union and NATO. The Czech President said this at the backdrop of the recent decision of the UK to leave the European Union. “I do not agree with those who support exit from the European Union. But I will do my best to arrange for a referendum where they can Express their opinion. The same goes for the withdrawal from NATO,” said Zeman, noting that he would vote for continued membership in the EU and in NATO
“In the current circumstances, a referendum on secession from the EU can be expected from France”
The Czech President is empowered to convene a referendum, this requires an amendment to the Constitution. However, Zeman is an influential politician, and listen to his opinion.
An example of Britain’s contagious
The results of the British referendum has galvanized Europe. Stating that a similar plebiscite should be held in other countries fell one after the other. Moreover, trends show that in certain countries the influence of eurosceptics is growing, so the talk of a possible referendum could lead to concrete action.
On the eve of the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad reported that a petition calling to hold in the Netherlands, the referendum on leaving the EU scored 56 thousand votes. The petition appeared before a referendum in the UK. “Things got worse with the introduction of the Euro and the emergence of the European Union, which takes away from us the sovereignty and leads to the fact that our borders are disappearing. There’s nothing more we build, but only destroy and share. So we want a referendum to exit the EU”, – stated in the petition.
Activists note that your petition we want to show that “the Netherlands has an interest in Nexit” (a neologism created by analogy with the British Brexit and resembling English next – “next”). In addition to activists of similar ideas shared by a group of influential Dutch politicians, led by Geert Wilders, leader of the far-right freedom Party (FP), with a representative office in the Dutch Parliament and the European Parliament.
Earlier in the week, Wilders asked the Dutch Parliament to hold a referendum on leaving the EU. While the initiative was not passed against the vote were made by 124 deputies, 14 parliamentarians. But Wilders intends to continue to engage on the topic.
Who “goes next”?
According to the Washington Post, except France and the Netherlands “at risk” also includes Greece, Sweden, Denmark and Hungary.
Sweden, like Britain, uses its national currency – the crown. The country was a supporter of the extension of the temporary border regime, which was introduced in several EU countries under pressure from the influx of refugees. Sweden has become a leader in the number of refugees accepted per capita.
Located next to Sweden, Denmark is also groaning from the influx of immigrants. In December last year, the Danish eurosceptics triumphed at the referendum, where it was a question of greater rapprochement with the EU in legal and police areas. Just as in the UK, the split between the two parties in the Danish society lay almost exactly in the middle. After counting the votes, opponents of adaptation of the legal regulations of the EU received 53.1% of the votes and the supporters – only 46.9%.
As for Greece, something about her as a potential candidate on the way out started talking seriously because of the financial difficulties of Athens. The Greeks themselves threatened to secede from the Union in that case they shall not be helped.
Another possible candidate for withdrawal from the EU called Hungary. Prime Minister Viktor Orban plans to hold a referendum on the issue of refugees, on which residents must decide whether they agree to abide by the EU principles in this area. The Prime Minister, however, ruled out the possibility of withdrawal from the European Union. He said, “such initiatives are not discussed, even the extreme right-wing radicals have changed their position.”
In turn, the head of the office of Orban, Janos Lazar stated that he would vote for the withdrawal of Hungary from the EU, if the country held a referendum on such an issue. “That doesn’t mean I’m not Pro-European customized just Europe and the European Union are two different things,” he explained. – The EU is not able to protect and represent European values and interests.”
Before the release is still far away
Talk about leaving the EU sounded in those countries, which spent a lot of energy to the EU grew and strengthened. In France, that after the British referendum on a par with Germany quickly submitted a project to create a new and strong Europe, euroscepticism is also making itself felt. The leader of the party “national front” marine Le Pen called for a referendum. Policy position supported by a significant number of her compatriots: according to polls, 61% of French people are skeptical about the European Union.
In the Czech Republic, too, there are advocates of leaving the EU, back in February, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said that Czexit can take place if Britain leaves the EU.
Eurostat estimates that were announced in the fall of 2015, in the Czech Republic, about 35% of the population are advocates of staying in the EU. This is one of the lowest. A little more – about 37% in Austria and 41% in Italy, where the collection of signatures for a referendum in UscIta (ital. uscita exit + Italia) the beginning of the “Northern League”, as stated by one of its leaders Matteo Salvini. The referendum supports the leader of the movement Five stars of Beppe Grillo.
However, all referendums in Italy are of a consultative nature, because the Italian laws do not allow to cancel international treaties on the basis of the will of the people.
In Austria, too, could not ignore the results of the British referendum. A year ago a petition to break off relations with the EU signed by more than 260 thousand people, which is more than twice the minimum level of 100 thousand, after which the legislative power is obliged to consider the initiative of the people. The other day the leader of the right freedom Party Norbert Hofer (on Friday it became known that the results of the presidential elections annulled and a Hofer in the autumn of this may again compete for the presidency) said that the Austrian authorities are considering the possibility to organize a referendum for the country’s exit from the EU.
“The reasons for dissatisfaction with Brussels in General the same”
Leading researcher of the RAS Institute of Europe, analyst Alexander Kamkin said in an interview with the newspaper VIEW that a referendum on withdrawal from the EU could potentially go in many countries.
“In different countries of Europe against the Brussels bureaucracy different: more discontent, somewhere less. Anyway, in the current circumstances, a referendum on secession from the EU can be expected from France. Eurosceptics in other countries of Europe is not so strong. A referendum possible in the Netherlands, as this is now one of the most expensive countries of the EU, and before that was the cheapest,” said Kamkin.
“With regard to Eastern Europe, here it comes to the economy. In principle, we can expect attempts to hold a referendum in Poland, Hungary and Greece. In the Czech Republic is still a high probability of negative outcome of the referendum, and it can be regarded as a vote of confidence in the authorities. The referendum will be those of the capital, who believe in a particular result, or it may be regarded as a vote of no confidence national elite,” – says Kamkin.
From the creators of the EU should not expect “ekzotov”?
Associate Professor, MGIMO, an expert on Europe and a political analyst Kirill Koktysh said in an interview with the newspaper VIEW that many EU countries can go to the referendum, the main question is who is first solved. Referendum definitely not worth the wait from Germany and France, and Italy, as these countries are the founders of the EU, the expert believes.
“Czech Republic, Hungary and Greece may decide to go for a referendum. About the Czech Republic I’m not sure the fact that she is very strong and the recipient gets a lot from the EU. In principle, to go for a referendum can Spain and Portugal. Like the UK many do not want the bureaucracy in Brussels has decided what is going to be in their countries. Very much depends who dare to spend the first after the British referendum. Moreover, go for it maybe he Brussels to show the need for European countries of the EU”, – said the analyst.
The interviewee noted that the reasons for the referendum in principle the same. “Europe as a whole are tired of transnational dictatorship, from the replacement of multinational companies local companies”, – the expert believes.Related posts: