Debates on EU-Ukraine Association Agreement to be held in Hague


Today, the lower house of the Netherlands Parliament will discuss the ratification of Ukraine’s association agreement with the European Union.

Searching for a loophole

The Netherlands is the only EU country whose parliament has not ratified Ukraine’s association agreement with the EU because of the results of the nation-wide referendum in April, when 61 percent of voters said they were against this deal.

Nevertheless, the Dutch government intends to ignore the will of the people and plans to push the lower house to approve the agreement.

The head of the Foreign Ministry of the Netherlands, Bert Koenders, has said that he and Prime Minister Mark Rutte intend to defend the agreement with Ukraine in parliament.

A bad deal for a bad player

The EU-Ukraine Association Agreement was signed in 2014 with the aim of 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 lately, the European Council decided that the EU-Ukraine association deal does not stipulate granting Ukraine the status of a candidate country for joining the union, does not provide Kiev with guarantees for military or financial assistance, nor even rights for its citizens to reside and work freely on EU territory.

The purpose of this agreement for the EU is geopolitical and is all about withstanding the so-called "Russian threat". As Mr. Rutte stated before: "The deal with Ukraine was key for Europe to present a united front against Russia’s destabilizing foreign policy"