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  1. #1
    SAT SAT is offline
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    The Dutch Referendum on Closer Ties with Ukraine.

    Following a popular petition and a recent law which commits the Dutch parliament to holding a plebiscite if a threshold of 300,000 signatures is reached, the Dutch public will vote later today on whether their government should ratify the EU - Ukrainian association agreement already signed by all 28 EU governments.

    Because of the Dutch constitution and the primacy of parliament in making laws, this referendum will be non-binding in theory, but in practice when the legislation was passed introducing this new voting system it was agreed provided there is a minimum turn out of 30% of eligible voters, by simple majority, if the legislation being voted on is rejected, it will be temporarily suspended pending further legislation to suspend its introduction indefinitely or to repeal it.

    Latest opinion polls suggest this referendum rejecting the agreement will pass, throwing a huge spanner in the EU machine.

    Here of course there has been little mention of the EU - Ukraine agreement and the little there has been tells us nothing of what is actually in the agreement. On the rare occasion it is mentioned it is spoken of in the context of trade and cultural exchanges.

    Watching the news tonight with Dutch voters being interviewed a couple of them spoke about their concerns for the military aspect of the agreement which they believed could commit Europe to militarily assisting Ukraine in the event of Ukraine being involved in a full blown war. No prizes for guessing who this is likely to be with.

    I admit, no doubt because of my previous apathy, this was a surprise to me. With my interest peaked I read the agreement and sure enough there are several clauses which speak of shared military links and aspirations.

    Article 7 in particular would appear to be intended to create some kind of military alliance by sleight of hand

    Article 7
    Foreign and security policy
    1. The Parties shall intensify their dialogue and cooperation and promote gradual convergence in the area of foreign
    and security policy, including the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), and shall address in particular issues of
    conflict prevention and crisis management, regional stability, disarmament, non-proliferation, arms control and arms
    export control as well as enhanced mutually-beneficial dialogue in the field of space. Cooperation will be based on
    common values and mutual interests, and shall aim at increasing policy convergence and effectiveness, and promoting
    joint policy planning. To this end, the Parties shall make use of bilateral, international and regional fora.
    2. Ukraine, the EU and the Member States reaffirm their commitment to the principles of respect for independence,
    sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of borders, as established in the UN Charter and the Helsinki Final Act of
    1975 of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, and to promoting these principles in bilateral and
    multilateral relations.
    3. The Parties shall address in a timely and coherent manner the challenges to these principles at all appropriate levels
    of the political dialogue provided for in this Agreement, including at ministerial level
    http://eeas.europa.eu/ukraine/docs/a...ne_2014_en.pdf

    Other issues which the Dutch are unhappy about in no particular order were the plans to allow Ukrainians visa free travel in Europe, the endemic corruption in Ukraine and the cost to EU taxpayers of supporting this huge rotten and corrupt state.

    Jaap de Hoop Scheffer a former NATO secretary general makes no secret about the military dimensions of this agreement and calls on the Dutch government to ignore the result if it is passed.

    The US are covering this issue rather better than we in Europe are.

    Dutch Vote on EU-Ukraine Deal Could Send Ripples Through Europe

    EU officials fear a rejection could fuel rising euroskepticism

    AMSTERDAM—Weeks before the U.K. decides whether to leave the European Union, the Netherlands will hold a referendum that could deliver a blow to the bloc.

    On Wednesday, the Netherlands will vote to support or reject the EU’s association agreement with Ukraine, a pact that deepens economic and political ties with the former Soviet republic and is already ratified by the EU’s 27 other member states.

    Although the referendum is nonbinding, EU officials fear that a rejection by Dutch voters could send ripples through the continent and represent a victory for Russia, which has long tried to scuttle the agreement.

    The pact, provisionally applied by Brussels since mid-2014, removes export tariffs between Ukraine and the EU and has provided a boost to the fragile Ukrainian economy at a time when trade with Russia has plummeted. It was at the heart of Ukraine’s political crisis in 2014, prompting violent clashes and the ouster of former President Viktor Yanukovych.

    “If the Dutch vote no, Europe will have a problem,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in a speech in The Hague last month. “That problem is destabilization.”

    The vote comes against a backdrop of rising euroskepticism across the EU just as the union is confronted with a postwar record inflow of migrants, increased terror threats and a still-fragile economy.

    “The citizens in Europe are angry and they blame the EU for everything that goes wrong,” said Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, a former Dutch foreign minister and ex-secretary general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
    snip
    “It is of geopolitical importance to send a message to Vladimir Putin that he cannot continue to meddle,” said Mr. de Hoop Scheffer. Even if Dutch voters reject the pact, the government and lawmakers should discuss the issue “and then tell voters: You have spoken but we don’t agree with you.”
    Dutch Vote on EU-Ukraine Deal Could Send Ripples Through Europe - WSJ
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  2. #2
    olli rehn olli rehn is offline
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  3. #3
    SAT SAT is offline
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    Reported for trolling.
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  4. #4
    Dame_Enda Dame_Enda is offline
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    The politicians there will probably pass it anyway set a different name like they did after the no vote to the EU Constitution.

    The visa free travel issue is a big element in the campaign, fuelling concerns about illegal immigration which I think are fair. The Dutch are sick and tired of open borders. On the other hand I support Ukrainian independence but as the Panama papers show, Kiev is not meeting its side of the deal which includes tackling corruption. Russia is just as corrupt but they aren't applyingto join the EU.
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  5. #5
    RasherHash RasherHash is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by SAT View Post
    Following a popular petition and a recent law which commits the Dutch parliament to holding a plebiscite if a threshold of 300,000 signatures is reached, the Dutch public will vote later today on whether their government should ratify the EU - Ukrainian association agreement already signed by all 28 EU governments.

    Because of the Dutch constitution and the primacy of parliament in making laws, this referendum will be non-binding in theory, but in practice when the legislation was passed introducing this new voting system it was agreed provided there is a minimum turn out of 30% of eligible voters, by simple majority, if the legislation being voted on is rejected, it will be temporarily suspended pending further legislation to suspend its introduction indefinitely or to repeal it.

    Latest opinion polls suggest this referendum rejecting the agreement will pass, throwing a huge spanner in the EU machine.

    Here of course there has been little mention of the EU - Ukraine agreement and the little there has been tells us nothing of what is actually in the agreement. On the rare occasion it is mentioned it is spoken of in the context of trade and cultural exchanges.

    Watching the news tonight with Dutch voters being interviewed a couple of them spoke about their concerns for the military aspect of the agreement which they believed could commit Europe to militarily assisting Ukraine in the event of Ukraine being involved in a full blown war. No prizes for guessing who this is likely to be with.

    I admit, no doubt because of my previous apathy, this was a surprise to me. With my interest peaked I read the agreement and sure enough there are several clauses which speak of shared military links and aspirations.

    Article 7 in particular would appear to be intended to create some kind of military alliance by sleight of hand

    http://eeas.europa.eu/ukraine/docs/a...ne_2014_en.pdf

    Other issues which the Dutch are unhappy about in no particular order were the plans to allow Ukrainians visa free travel in Europe, the endemic corruption in Ukraine and the cost to EU taxpayers of supporting this huge rotten and corrupt state.

    Jaap de Hoop Scheffer a former NATO secretary general makes no secret about the military dimensions of this agreement and calls on the Dutch government to ignore the result if it is passed.

    The US are covering this issue rather better than we in Europe are.

    Dutch Vote on EU-Ukraine Deal Could Send Ripples Through Europe - WSJ
    Good law, let the people have their say.

    They'd hate that here.
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  6. #6
    RasherHash RasherHash is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by SAT View Post
    Reported for trolling.
    Olli the fascist loves to troll, he wants us to stfu and obey our betters
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  7. #7
    stopdoingstuff stopdoingstuff is offline
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    We need to similiarly empower our citizens.The power to vote in referenda is meaningless if there is no power to force issues to a vote.
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  8. #8
    SAT SAT is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by RasherHash View Post
    Good law, let the people have their say.

    They'd hate that here.
    This will be a test of EU democracy. When the EU constitution was rejected by French and Dutch voters they simply repackaged it as amendments to the existing treaties, rebranded it as the Lisbon Treaty and said the Dutch and French no longer needed to approve it by public vote. I guess the EU officials will try something similar again but this time there is a very large anti-EU lobby watching and waiting to expose this kind of undemocratic subterfuge.
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  9. #9
    SAT SAT is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by stopdoingstuff View Post
    We need to similiarly empower our citizens.The power to vote in referenda is meaningless if there is no power to force issues to a vote.
    It suits our authoritarian government to frame all public debates re political policy. That is why we get stupid referenda on things like the minimum age for our president while the big issues are ignored. After Lisbon was rejected by the public the government decided why the people had voted no, they changed a comma here and there and made us vote again. This time after putting the fear of God into people about what would happen if we voted no again. Still makes me smile about the 'Vote yes for jobs' posters. The posters were hardly down again before Dell in Limerick cleared off with a few thousand jobs to Poland.
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  10. #10
    McDave McDave is offline

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    The EU can't simply ignore what goes on in Ukraine. It has to pursue policies to help it improve its economic and social position. If the EU ignores Ukraine, as some want, that leaves the field open to Russia.

    By a similar token, the EU can't ignore what goes on in North Africa and the Middle East. It has to have policies to improve business and infrasctructure in as many countries as it can.

    It's poor foresight to turn our backs on problems on EU borders.
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