Saturday 16 November 2019

Dutch senate approves Ukraine treaty; Brussels welcomes ‘important signal’

Photo: Depositphotos.com

As expected, the Dutch senate on Tuesday voted in favour of the controversial EU treaty with Ukraine thanks to the support of the Christian Democrats.

Nine of the 12 CDA senators voted in favour of the treaty even though the party was opposed the motion when it was debated in the lower house in February. ChristenUnie senators also went against their MPs in the lower house and backed the treaty.

Over 60% of Dutch voters who took part in last year’s referendum on the treaty voted against it. Even though the referendum was advisory, most MPs said the decision had to be respected.

However, in December, prime minister Mark Rutte won the support of the 27 other European leaders for a supplementary declaration to the Ukraine treaty which makes it clear what the agreement actually entails. Rutte has said that if the Netherlands failed to ratify the treaty, it could have serious implications for the stability of Europe.

European Commission chairman Jean-Claude Juncker said after the senate vote that the Netherlands had sent ‘an important signal from the Netherlands and the entire EU to our Ukranian friends.’

‘Ukraine’s place is in Europe. Ukraine’s future lies within Europe,’ Juncker said in a statement.

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