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Constitutionalising Europe: Dutch Reactions to an Incoming Tide (1948-2005) aims to solve the riddle of how the relation between the Netherlands and Europe got under pressure. 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 1 June 2005, its people rejected the European Constitution with a great majority. Until now, no satisfying explanation has been given for this occurrence. This 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 book shows that the origin of the gap between Dutch political elite and society at large, as it became manifest on 1 June 2005, 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.