Global Independent Analytics

Netherlands rejects EU-Ukraine partnership deal

"Beginning of the end for the EU"

BBC News reporting: Dutch voters have rejected EU partnership deal to remove trade barriers with Ukraine. The vote barely passed due to low turnout, but, in the end, enough people came to break 30% threshold for the vote to be valid. Among those 30%, almost two-thirds rejected the deal, with only 38.1% voting in its favor. But Netherlands’ Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the government may have to reconsider the deal.

The catalyst was an internet petition, presented by Eurosceptic activists that attracted more than 400,000 signatures. The vote itself was also seen in the Netherlands as a test of public opinion towards the EU.

The outcome is obviously a problem to solve for the Dutch government, as the Dutch parliament approved the EU association agreement with Ukraine last year, with all other EU members have already ratified the deal.

"My view is that if the turnout is more than 30%, with such a victory for the 'No' camp, ratification cannot go ahead without discussion," Mr. Rutte said in a televised reaction.

Netherlands’ Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the government may have to reconsider the deal. This is obviously quite an embarrassment for Dutch government due to it holding EU presidency.

But there are some, who can’t hide their happy feelings. Such as Geert Wilders, who leads the anti-EU and anti-Islam Freedom Party, saying the result was the "beginning of the end for the EU."

By Stefan Paraber for GIA

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