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Dutch Activists Want to Hold Referendum on EU-Ukraine Treaty

© Sputnik / Artur Alexandrov / Go to the mediabankA canal in Amsterdam
A canal in Amsterdam - Sputnik International
A number of Dutch citizens are dissatisfied with the EU’s ‘democratic deficit’ and want to make use of the new Dutch legislation which enables citizens to appeal for a referendum on a recently passed law or treaty, euobserver reported.

The blog Geenstijl and the group Burgercomite are collecting signatures among Dutch citizens to organize a referendum on the EU's association agreement with Ukraine.

The activists seek to promote democratic values. They criticize the current EU policy in general and its stance towards Russia in the Ukrainian conflict in particular.

Ukrainian and EU flags - Sputnik International
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According to the activists, the EU-Ukraine treaty is provocative and poses “a threat to our welfare and well-being as well as that of the Ukrainians”.

Another reason why they have chosen the Ukrainian issue is a matter of time. The new Dutch legislation came into force on July 1 and is applicable to treaties adopted afterwards (the EU-Ukraine agreement was ratified on July 7).

The activists must gather 10,000 signatures by August 6 to send a preliminary request. To get permission for the referendum, they have to collect anther 300,000 signatures in six weeks after that. The goal is considered “nearly impossible,” but they remain positive.

“[…] if we succeed, then we win a real national EU referendum. That is worth a try, right,” the website Geenstijl said.

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