EU Related Referendums

Of the eight post-communist EU enlargement countries, Estonia was one of the last to hold its accession referendum (on 14 September, 2003). In the final stages of the election campaign, considerable financial resources were spent in favor of accession by both the Estonian government and the local EU delegation office, as the vast majority of Estonia's political elite were in favor of joining, including President Rüütel, who (through his affiliation with the People's Union, RL) had an important effect in convincing rural voters (Pettai, 2004). Only the Center Party (KESK), during a special congress in August, unexpectedly voted for a declaration calling on Estonians to reject the EU.

The final result of the referendum was a solid vote in favor: 66.83 percent. Turnout was 64.04 percent. All regions of the country supported accession, although the 'Yes' vote was lower in the mostly Russian northeast and the rural southeast (Pettai, 2004).


Pettai, V. 2004. Estonia. European Journal of Political Research, Volume 43 (7-8): 993-999.

Estonian Electoral Commission website.