EU Countries Should Follow Dutch Example of Holding Referendums

© REUTERS / Cris Toala OlivaresDemonstrators who support the yes vote of an EU referendum and those who support the no vote protest at the Dam Square in Amsterdam, the Netherlands April 3, 2016
Demonstrators who support the yes vote of an EU referendum and those who support the no vote protest at the Dam Square in Amsterdam, the Netherlands April 3, 2016 - Sputnik International
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Russian Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin said that it is a pity that only in the Netherlands local laws allowed the people to speak out on on important issues of the European Union’s external policy.

Demonstrators call for a NO vote in Wednesday's upcoming EU-Ukraine referendum, in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Sunday, April 3, 2016 - Sputnik International
Brussels Fears the End of EU as Dutch Vote Against European Policymaking
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — European countries should follow the Dutch example of holding referendums on important issues of the bloc’s external policy, Russian Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin said Thursday.

On Wednesday, 61.1 percent of Dutch voters rejected the EU-Ukraine association deal’s ratification in the advisory referendum, according to preliminary results. A turnout of 32.2 percent passed the 30-percent threshold to give the public vote legal weight.

"It is a pity that only in the Netherlands local laws allowed the people to speak out on this important foreign policy issue, and the referendum results clearly showed what the ordinary citizens think about Ukraine's sped-up European integration," Naryshkin told reporters.

Demonstrators call for people to vote no in the EU referendum during a protest at Dam Square in Amsterdam, the Netherlands April 3, 2016. - Sputnik International
Dutch Party for Freedom Say EU Must Heed Country's Rejection of Ukraine
In 2014, Kiev and Brussels signed an agreement aimed at Ukraine's political association and economic integration into the bloc.

The Netherlands is the only member state that has not yet ratified the agreement. The Dutch government decided to hold a non-binding referendum after over 400,000 people signed a petition to put the matter to a nationwide vote.

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