Senate approves Association Agreement EU-Ukraine

30 mei 2017

On the 30th of May 2017 the Senate of the Netherlands approved the Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine. The political factions of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), Democrats 66 (D66), Labour Party (PvdA), GreenLeft (GroenLinks), ChristianUnion (ChristenUnie), Reformed Political Party (SGP), Independent Senate Group (OSF) and 9 members of the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) voted in favour of the bill.

The political factions of the Party for Freedom (PVV), the Socialist Party (SP), 50PLUS (50PLUS), Party for the Animals (PvdD) and 3 members of the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) voted against the bill.

Background

In 2015 both houses of the Dutch parliament passed legislation in order to ratify the Association Agreement. In April 2016 this ratification was subject to an national advisory referendum. The majority of voters voted against the Association Agreement.

The Dutch government then proceeded to procure a political statement from the members of the European Council that explains how the Association Agreement should be interpreted. Through that statement the government hopes to address the concerns that were voiced by the Dutch public in the advisory referendum.

On the 23rd of May 2017 the Senate held a plenary debate with Prime Minister Rutte and Minister of Foreign Affairs Koenders on the Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine. The debate in the Senate focused on the question whether the political statement made by the government leaders in the European Council is an adequate response to the negative outcome of the referendum and what the legal status is of the political statement. The speakers in the debate also discussed the consequences of the Association Agreement for Ukraine and its relations with the EU and Russia.

More information (in Dutch) on the bill:


Video of the vote on 30 May 2017 (in Dutch)