French Maastricht Treaty referendum, 1992

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A referendum on the Maastricht Treaty was held in France on 20 September 1992.[1] It was approved by only 51% of the voters. The result of the referendum, known as the "petit oui", along with the Danish "No" vote are considered to be signals of the end of the "permissive consensus" on European integration which had existed in most of continental Europe until then. From this point forward issues relating to European integration were subject to much greater scrutiny across much of Europe, and overt euroscepticism gained prominence.[2] Only France, Ireland and Denmark held referendums on Maastricht ratification.

Opponents included the French Communist Party (PCF) and far-left parties such as the Revolutionary Communist League (LCR) or Workers' Struggle (LO), who opposed what they considered as an advance of neo-liberalism, as well as Euro-sceptics such as the far-right National Front and Philippe de Villiers. Those who opposed the ratification included the demographer Emmanuel Todd. Opponents to the treaty were also in the main right-wing party, the Rally for the Republic, which has experienced from 1992 to great divisions between the souverainists (Philippe Séguin, Charles Pasqua ...), and pro-Europeans.


Choice Metropolitan France Total
Votes % Votes %
For 12,957,324 50.8 13,162,992 51.0
Against 12,542,635 49.2 12,623,582 49.0
Invalid/blank votes 880,783 909,377
Total 26,380,742 100 26,695,951 100
Registered voters/turnout 37,087,104 71.1 38,305,534 69.7
Source: Nohlen & Stöver


  1. ^ Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p674 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  2. ^ Harmsen, Robert and Menno Spiering, eds. Euroscepticism: Party Politics, National Identity and European Integration. Amsterdam: Radopi B.V., 2004. p. 25.