"The CDA has said from the very beginning: we are against referendum in general, but this referendum has been organized by law, and once you ask the people what they want, you have to do something with that. The result has been that people voted NO, and in CDA we still believe that to be the case," Elsman said.
The Netherlands remains the only EU member state that has not ratified the EU-Ukraine treaty. Rutte moved to accelerate the ratification process after he secured support of the 27 other European leaders for a supplementary to the EU treaty with Ukraine that stated that the deal “does not confer on Ukraine the status of a candidate country for accession to the Union” and ruled out military or financial support to Kiev to mitigate Dutch voters' concerns.
The EU-Ukraine Association Agreement was signed in 2014 aimed at deepening political association and economic integration with Kiev being obliged to implement a series of reforms to gain free-trade access to the EU market. But most of all it has a geopolitical value: as Rutte put it this week, the deal with Ukraine was key for Europe to present a united front against Russia’s destabilizing foreign policy, while its rejection would have been a “gift to Russia”.