07:30 GMT +3 hours26 June 2016
Live
Participants of a rally held by supporters of Ukraine's EU integration. File photo

Dutch Vote on EU-Ukraine Association Deal Is 'Headache' for Brussels

© Sputnik/ Pavel Palamarchuk
Europe
Get short URL
93652243

Dutch voters may give Brussels a headache when they vote on the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement that was signed in 2014, in which Kiev promised reforms it has not implemented, Kiev-based Dutch journalist Stefan Huijboom told Sputnik.

The Ukrainian economy is not ready for integration with the EU and its government has not implemented the reforms it promised, making it likely that Dutch voters will reject the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement when they vote in a referendum on April 6, Kiev-based Dutch journalist Stefan Huijboom told Radio Sputnik.

​"First of all, we're talking about a country that is at war, there's unrest in the East. European integration just means that the unrest in Ukraine will become an even bigger European problem," Huijboom said.

Meanwhile, Ukraine is mired in an economic crisis, President Poroshenko's promised campaign to fight corruption has completely failed, and trust in the government is at an all-time low. 

"Some extreme right groups have even announced [that they want] a third Maidan because of the distrust in the current government."

"Last but not least, (it is important) not to forget about the huge division of Ukraine in the East. In the Ukrainian government-held territories, many civilians feel closer to Russia than to Europe, so European integration would just fuel their beliefs," Huijboom cautioned.

While EU politicians strive to expand the EU further to the east and are keen to stress the trade benefits of their expansion plans, their enthusiasm is not shared by the European electorate.

"If you take a closer look at what is really happening in Europe, Euroscepticism is on the rise on a national level in a lot of countries; in the UK there will be a referendum about leaving the UK in June, and far-right and Eurosceptic parties are on the rise in the Netherlands and in France."

"There are a lot of people in Europe who feel abandoned by Brussels, which constantly tries to get more and more involved in local and national politics."

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko visited the Netherlands in November, where he asserted that the Dutch referendum on the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement would not make any difference to the agreement, 70 percent of which has already been implemented, Huijboom said.

"The remaining 30 percent depends on the final outcome in the Netherlands and it's not really to be expected that it will be reversed, but it will certainly put Ukraine on the agenda again in Brussels, and possibly cause a headache in Brussels as well."

"No matter what the outcome, Brussels will continue the implementation of the EU agreement, which really means that Brussels doesn't take democracy seriously."

Related:
Dutch Ahead of the Curve on Saudi Arms Exports After EU Votes for Ban
Refugees Allowed to EU Must Be Employable - Dutch Employers' Federation
VimpelCom to Pay $795Mln in Bribery Fines to US, Netherlands - Justice Dept
Ukraine, Netherlands to Prolong Deal on Joint Investigation Into MH17 Crash
Tags:
EU-Ukraine association, referendum, Ukraine, Netherlands
Community standardsDiscussion
Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik
  • Сomment

All comments

  • tobi.gelando
    Yes the voting has no working power in the EU !!!!!

    We should KNOW the people in the EU have no free will any more !!! Technocrat's run the show for the USA ... It id sickening !!!!
  • margaridaoulman
    Brussels with their lousy policies seem to be getting more and more headaches lately. Seems it will only get worse as their solutions are only glueless band aids.
  • cast235
    E.U is a FASCIST union that FORCE governments in with Coups and revolutions and arming opposition to KILL the government. U.K deal cannot be reviewed by any court, UNLESS U.K votes against joining the union. can you believe this FASCIST SYSTEM?
  • JPH
    Dutch government stated it would not campaign for YES, but was recently embarrassed by the revelation of their communication strategy. Turns out a stealth campaign was considered the best option. Probably based on the logic that it will be a NO anyway, but if the turnout could be kept low and a not too overwhelming NO the government would have more leeway to ignore it. A public campaign would raise awareness too much so that a high turnout NO would be impossible to ignore. Note that the referendum is formally non-binding but having bypassed the 2005 referendum on the EU constitution parties are well aware that ignoring this again will prove to be very costly in the general election next year.
  • siberianhusky
    As in most countries across this world the politician goal in not the same as there citizens and they will be ignored by any means possible. It doesn't matter what the Dutch citizens will vote their government will abide their masters in Brussels whishes and push the Ukraine EU merger through. Over and out.

    So much for democracy NOT.
Show new comments (0)