Conference “From Euromaidan to the Dutch referendum: What’s the EU’s Strategy for Ukraine?”

The conference “From Euromaidan to the Dutch referendum: What’s the EU’s Strategy for Ukraine?” – organised by the Young European Federalists [JEF] on the 4th of April 2016 in Brussels, brought together members of the European Parliament, foreign policy advisers, analysts and the wider public to discuss the Dutch referendum on the EU – Ukraine Association Agreement. Although the referendum is consultative, its results may have implications for the EU’s authorities in the area of foreign policy, and for the future of the EU – Ukraine Association agreement.

The speakers agreed that the referendum creates a “dangerous precedent for the European policy’s revisionism” – MEP Petras Austravicius, is an “attempt to de-construct the EU and deepen the gap between the West & the East of Europe” – MEP Rebecca Harms, but at the same time the referendum is “another test and exercise of maturing the EU foreign policy” – Adviser for External Policies at the Cabinet of the President of the EP Arnoldas Pranckevicius.

Executive Director of the Ukrainian Think Tanks Liaison Office in Brussels Olena Prystayko underlined that Ukraine’s civil society and the expert community actively participated in the YES campaign, bringing the Dutch voters strong arguments in favour of the EU – Ukraine Association Agreement: and on what will the Netherlands win from the EU-Ukraine Agreement.

Mrs Prystayko mentioned the public opinion poll, which shows that 72% of the Ukrainians want that the Dutch people vote “YES”:

The participants expressed their hopes that the common sense will prevail and the Dutch people will say YES to the Agreement and to the future of the European Union.