MEPs call on Netherlands to sooner communicate its position on EU-Ukraine deal
The European Parliament has called on the Dutch government to communicate its position with respect to the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union as soon as possible and assures that they are ready to discuss the way forward and to contribute to finding solutions.
The relevant statement was announced on Thursday by Elmar Brok, Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Andrej Plenkovic, Chair of the Delegation to the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee and Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, MEP and EPP Vice-President.
"We take note of the preliminary results of the advisory referendum that took place yesterday in the Netherlands on the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement," MEPs said.
"To us who are deeply convinced of the merits of this Agreement, which is mutually beneficial to both Ukrainian and EU citizens, and who were actively committed to its realization, it is of course a disappointment to see that a majority of those who cast their vote in the Netherlands rejected the Agreement."
"The result of the referendum reminds us in the EU of the need to engage with our citizens to inform and explain the benefits and the nature of the agreements it concludes and legislation it passes. Thus we will help dispel unrelated narratives and avoid amalgams and populist propaganda that misuses referenda as a positive democratic instrument," the report says.
Read alsoMerkel, Hollande reiterate support for Ukraine-EU Association AgreementAt the same time, MEPs stress that the Association Agreement has been already ratified by 27 EU Member States, by the European Parliament and the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada and approved by the two Dutch chambers and by the Dutch government. "We believe that it is the EU as a whole with all the 28 Member States who should decide, not 20% of voters of one Member State, representing 0.6% of the entire EU population, in a referendum which has a consultative nature."
"We call on the Dutch government to communicate its position as soon as possible and consequently to the Commission to propose a way forward. The European Parliament and all its bodies stand ready to discuss the way forward and to contribute to finding solutions," the statement said.
"We stress the need to continue with the provisional application of the Association Agreement. In this regard we welcome the stated determination of the Ukrainian authorities to go ahead with the implementation of the Agreement, which bears such a high signification in Ukraine's recent history and crystallizes the hopes of Ukrainian population to see real changes happening in their country."
As UNIAN reported earlier, the outcome of the Dutch referendum held April 6 saw 61.1% of votes cast against the Agreement, with a 32.2% turnout.
The Dutch government said in a statement that it intended to seek compromise on the issue of the Ukraine-EU deal, admitting that the process might take time.