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EU referendums as a cure-all? Lessons from Switzerland

posted Oct 1, 2019, 3:11 AM by Eva Thomann
It is often argued that national referendums on European Union (EU) matters can be a cure for the democratic deficit of the EU and its policies. But what can we learn from a country like Switzerland about how and when direct democracy works? In this blog post, Isabelle Stadelmann-Steffen, Eva G. Heidbreder and I conclude that referendums in the EU usually lack the necessary institutional and administrative links between direct and representative decision-making to have legitimacy-enhancing effects.