Dutch parliament votes on ending 'Ukraine-type' referendums

Then the four coalition parties supporting Mark Rutte's third government are expected to support the bill, but it will be a narrow vote
09:12, 23 February 2018

Open source

The Dutch lower house of the parliament is voting on a bill on Thursday, 22 February, that would make it impossible for citizens to demand a referendum on future EU treaties, as they did with the EU-Ukraine association agreement, the EU Observer reported.

The four coalition parties supporting Mark Rutte's third government are expected to support the bill, but it will be a narrow vote. If just two of the coalition MPs fail to show up, the repeal bill could be rejected.

Opposition parties are almost unanimous in their rejection of the government position - believing it takes away a democratic tool from citizens after it was only used once in practice.

Most opposition MPs even want citizens to be able to demand a referendum about the bill that would take away their right to demand a referendum – something which The Hague wants to prevent.

Related: Dutch foreign minister resigns after admitting he lied about meeting with Putin

Since 1 July 2015, Dutch citizens have had the right to demand that a non-binding referendum is held on any adopted bill if they are able to gather 300,000 signatures of support.

A week after the new law went into force, the Dutch Senate approved the EU-Ukraine association agreement, which governed trade relations between the two but also contained political commitments.

The plebiscite was held on 6 April 2016, and the 32 percent of voters who showed up overwhelmingly rejected the treaty – 61 percent voted against it.

Related: Dutch government signs ratification law for EU-Ukraine Association Agreement

For months, Rutte declined to simply accept or reject the public's verdict on the Ukraine treaty but instead lobbied his fellow EU leaders to help him find a solution.

Related: Law on ratification of Ukraine-EU association published in official Dutch journal

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Cees Boogaart

Age: 63

Gender: М

Member since: 06.12.2016

Messages: 97

From whence: , Netherlands

23 February 2018, 10:19
Fault of Dutch govt itself, such a law should take ito account all voters, incl. the ones which didn't show up. In fact of all voters, just 19.63% voted against, 13% in favor, and 68% stayed at home, so govt in fact could go ahead.with signing. Govt. made a treshold of 30%, 32% showed up, 68% stayed at home,and govt. under pressure of pro-russian groups/edia in Netherlands (PVV/GeenPeil,GeenStijl and Powned a.o.) said beforehand they would follow the guidline of this advising referendum, making it thus a "corrective" (binding result) referendum. How stupid can you be? Well, this stupid.
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