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Austria chancellor to push for referenda on Lisbon Treaty

[JURIST] Austrian Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer [official website] promised in an open letter [text, in German; SPÖ statement, in German] Thursday that he would push for Austria to hold national referenda in deciding whether to accept future modifications of the EU reform treaty [JURIST news archive], properly known as the Treaty of Lisbon [PDF text; website]. The announcement came two weeks after Irish voters rejected [JURIST report] the reform treaty in a referendum. A June European Commission Eurobarometer report [PDF text] found that Austrian citizens are among those least satisfied with EU membership. Bloomberg has more.

In April, the upper house of the Austrian parliament [official website, in German] voted 151-27 [press materials, in German; JURIST report] to approve the treaty. The treaty must be ratified by all 27 EU member states before it can take effect, though each country may choose the method of ratification. Leaders from the 27 countries signed the reform treaty [JURIST report] last December, and 14 countries have ratified the document [JURIST news archive]. In 2005, an earlier draft for a European constitution [JURIST news archive] failed when voters in France and the Netherlands [JURIST reports] rejected the proposal in national referenda.

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