The debate about whether the EU’s representative institutions have a democratic deficit is now matched by national political systems having a democratic surplus. European citizens are voting on EU issues in national referendums as well as for national representatives in the multi-national European Parliament. Since 2014 absolute majorities of voters have been rejecting policies approved by their national government as well as by EU institutions.

REDO’s purpose is to further the understanding of challenges to European democracy by undertaking scientific research into what’s causing the demand for referendums; public opinion and voting in referendums; and how the EU is responding to referendum demands and outcomes. We do this by monitoring what’s happening in EU member and associated states; public opinion polls and social media; and scientific and political debates about whether and how referendums ought to affect European public policy.

Our programme is based at the Robert Schuman Centre of the European University Institute Florence and through partner institutions and our European network of social scientists.