Back to list All Articles Archives Search RSS Terug naar lijst Alle artikelen Archieven Zoek RSS

Over 440,000 Dutch call for referendum on Ukraine EU treaty

Over 440,000 Dutch call for referendum on Ukraine EU treaty


THE NETHERLANDS. A Dutch citizens’ initiative to force a non-binding referendum on a far-reaching treaty between Brussels and Ukraine had gathered 446,000 signatures by early Sunday evening.

The campaign to hold a referendum was launched by shock blog Geenstijl, think-tank Forum voor Democratie and the Burgercomite EU association earlier this month.

In 2014, the Dutch approved legislation to allow ‘advisory referendums’ on controversial topics, if supporters can gather 300,000 signatures. The Dutch parliament has already voted in favour of the treaty.

The aim of the treaty is to foster political relationships and kickstart economic integration and supporters say it shifts Ukraine away from Russia and more towards the west.

Opponents say the treaty will cost Dutch taxpayers billions of euros and that the EU’s expansion drive is having an adverse impact on democracy in the Netherlands.

They also argue that the Dutch parliament no longer does what its own voters want, but are driven by Brussels’ own interests.


In The Hague, politicians congratulated the organisers of the lobby, RTL news reported, even though the ruling Labour party, the Christian Democrats and D66 all reiterated their support for the treaty. The Socialists and anti-immigration PVV are opposed and PVV leader Geert Wilders has already said he will campaign for a ‘no’ vote.

The electoral council will now check the results to make sure the signatures are genuine. Once it gives the green light for the referendum, it must be held within six months. This means the vote is likely to take place during the Dutch presidency of the EU, which starts in January.

The referendum is advisory and not binding on the cabinet. This means that if the turnout is over 30% and a majority vote against the treaty, the government has to re-examine the legislation. Even though ministers can still ignore the vote, it will be difficult politically to ignore the wishes of so many people, RTL news said.

‘This law will give citizens a serious opportunity to express their views and an important voice in the decision-making process,’ said D66 parliamentarian Gerard Schouw. D66 drew up the referendum legislation.


This article appeared first on

About is a provider of quality Dutch news and current affairs in English for an international audience. Some 25,000 people read every day, either online, through our daily digital newsletter or via our social media channels.



There are currently no comments.Er zijn geen reacties.

Post a Comment

Laat een reactie achter

Door een reactie te plaatsen gaat u akkoord met de verwerking van de ingevulde gegevens door Observant.
Voor meer informatie: Privacyverklaring
By responding, you agree to send the entered data to Observant.
For more info: Privacy statement

Name (required)

Email (required)