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Dutch citizens vote against EU-Ukraine Treaty

The ballot paper of the referendum on the EU-Ukraine Agreement

Dutch citizens vote against EU-Ukraine Treaty


On Wednesday, 6 April 2016, 62 per cent of Dutch voters decided in a national referendum to reject the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, while 38 per cent voted for it. The turnout quorum of 30 per cent was met: 32 per cent of the Netherlands's 12.5 million citizens participated in the vote.

After the vote, Prime Minister Rutte said he could not ignore the resounding "No" in a non-binding referendum on the European Union's association treaty with Ukraine, but that it may take weeks to decide how to respond (Source Reuters here).

The referendum was "facultative" of its nature, which means it gave Dutch citizens the possibility to correct the Parliament’s decision to approve the Treaty that would strengthen ties between the EU and Ukraine.

Following its entry into force on 1 July 2015, this form of citizen-initiated “facultative referendum” was applied in Dutch history for the first time. Democracy activists around the initiative “Meer Democratie” (then “Referendum Platform”) had drafted the referendum law back in 2005 and campaigned for its introduction. Meer Democratie is a member of Democracy International.

Text by Cora Pfafferott


On 6 April 2016, the Netherlands’ 12 million eligible citizens will decide in a national referendum on whether to correct the Dutch Parliament’s...

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