The Netherlands are to hold a consultative referendum regarding Ukraine's association agreement with the European Union after a petition gathered nearly 428,000 signatures, far more than the 300,000 signatures required for such a vote.
While a "yes" vote would not mean an immediate end to the association agreement, it would nevertheless force the Dutch government to consider the motion and its popular support. If the Netherlands does reject the association agreement, however, it would effectively mean the end for Ukraine's EU association aspirations until the deal is again reconsidered.
"The Association Treaty with Ukraine, which has led to deteriorating relations between the West and Russia, is only an instrument to address a wider problem: the democratic deficit of the European Union," the referendum campaign website said.
The signature campaign for the referendum was initiated by the GeenPeil ("No Level") Eurosceptic group. GeenPeil states that the association agreement would cost Dutch taxpayers billions in aid packages and other initiatives.