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 June 1, 2005, its people rejected the European Constitution with a great majority. This book aims to solve the riddle of how the relation between the Netherlands and Europe developed under pressure. Until now, only little satisfying, short-term explanations have been given for this occurrence. The book offers a new, long term perspective. Based on a wealth of new primary sources - i.e. parliamentary accounts, Council of State advice, and interviews with key-figures in the process - this doctoral thesis shows that the origin of the gap between the Dutch political elite and society at large, 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 identity. The very zeal to constitutionalize Europe blinded the Dutch political elite for the downsides of this process for national democratic relations. Doctoral Thesis.
Publication Date: 7/4/2013