Netherlands: Dutch to hold referendum on EU-Kiev Association Agreement

The Netherlands will hold a referendum on the approval of the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine, Chairman of the Dutch Electoral Council, Henk Kummeling, announced during a press conference in The Hague, Wednesday. The statement came after representatives of the ‘No Vote’ campaign on the EU-Ukraine trade deal collected and spot-checked the required number of signatures to hold the vote. Kummeling announced that 3,726 of the 4,012 signatures in the sample survey that the Electoral Council held were considered valid, meaning that there were 427,939 requests for a referendum, over the 300,000 signatures necessary. Journalist and campaign manager for the pro-referendum group ‘GeenPeil’ or ‘NoVote,’ Jan Roose, also made an appearance at the press conference. The campaigner, who has called for an increased number of national referendums on EU decisions, stated that there is “a deficit of participation concerning the EU.” The referendum on the Association Agreement is only advisory but, according to Roose, will be used for the first time “to make [peoples'] voices heard about the future of the EU.”