Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands Lilianne Ploumen encouraged the Dutch to cast their votes for the Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine in the referendum, which is to take place on April 6. She stated this during her speech in Groningen Unibersity, informed the representative of the organization “Ukrainians in the Netherlands” Alina Cherkas on Facebook.
“First: come and vote! Second: vote “yes!”, - Ploumen said.
The Dutch Minister pointed out, that the Association Agreement is profitable both for Ukraine and the European Union.
“You should vote in favor of the Association, because many young activists in Kyiv and in entire Ukraine took to the streets, to Maidan, in order to stand for their rights and for reforms. All of them wanted a better future for Ukraine!”, - Ploumen pointed out.
According to Ploumen, the Netherlands wants to support Ukraine in the implementation of reforms and help Ukrainians fight corruption. Ploumen also focused on huge prospects for Dutch business and investment in Ukraine.
“This is good for Ukraine, good for the Netherlands and for the entire free world we all want to live in”, - the Minister added.
The consultative referendum on Ukraine-EU Association Agreement will take place in the Netherlands on April 6. The Netherlands has finalized the ratification of Ukraine-EU Association Agreement in July 2015, but the Dutch can still vote on it in a referendum. The results of the referendum will be recognized if 30% of Dutch citizens participate in it. The referendum is funded by the Dutch government, which allocated €30 million for its organization. The proposed referendum question is the following: Are you “for” or “against” the ratification of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement?
There are several scenarios according to which the events may unfold after the referendum. First of all, there’s a chance that the results of the referendum will not be recognized, in case the turnout amounts to less than 30%. Sociologist forecast a turnout of over 40% of citizens.
In case the Dutch vote against the Association, government of the Netherlands must submit it for consideration of the parliament. The parliament has options to either approve or cancel it. If citizens of the Netherlands vote for the Association, it will come into force.
Polling stations during the vote in the referendum will be open from 7:30 till 21:00 (or from 8:30 till 22:00 Kyiv time). Dutch citizens who have reached the age of 18 years may cast their opinion in the referendum. One should come to the polling station with the special invitation (stempas) and ID document. Staff of the polling station will give out a ballot paper and a red pencil. The question in the referendum reads as follows: “Are you for or against the ratification of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine?”. One should put a red mark in front of “yes” or “no” column. Spoilt ballot papers will be considered invalid. Only one person must be located in the voting booth while casting a vote. Only people with disabilities may receive assistance while voting. After the vote is cast, a ballot paper must be placed into a ballot box. Results of the referendum will be recognized if at least 30% of Dutch (around 3,8 million people) turn up to cast their opinions.