Because Hans Adam's position is based on hereditary rights, he does not engage in politics in exactly the same manner as an elected official. His involvement in legislation consisted until the early twenty-first century of the right to take initiatives in the form of government bills and the right to sanction laws. Hans Adam's powers were expanded as a result of a 2003 referendum. A majority of voters approved the prince's proposals after a long and divisive public campaign during which he threatened to leave the country if his proposal were not approved. The prince gained the right to veto legislation by simply not signing it within six months. He also acquired the right to nominate judges and dissolve the government. While citizens gained the right to force a referendum on any issue by simply obtaining 1,500 signatures on a petition, overall, the reforms gave Hans Adam more power than most European monarchs and raised concern in the European Commission for Democracy through Law.