The Dutch lower house of parliament will vote for the ratification of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement on February 23, according to RFE/RL correspondent in Brussels Rikard Jozwiak.
”Seems like the Dutch lower house will debate the ratification of Ukraine AA [Association Agreement] on 21 Feb and vote on 23 Feb,” Jozwiak wrote on Twitter on February 17, 2017.
Earlier, a bill to ratify the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement was tabled in the Dutch parliament on January 27, according to an announcement on the website of the parliament`s lower chamber.
The bill was posted along with the Royal Message (the official text by which the King presents a bill to the House of Representatives) and the accompanying advice from the Council of State of the Netherlands. In particular, the announcement says that the bill regulates the enactment of the law dated July 8, 2015, which approved the ratification of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement.
The Dutch government on December 16 approved a draft law for ratification of the EU-Ukraine deal by the parliament. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that the bill was to be approved by the House of Representatives (the lower house) and the Senate.
The endorsement of this bill came a day after EU leaders had agreed to the demands of the Netherlands regarding the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement. In particular, they relate to the fact that Ukraine will not achieve EU membership automatically, there will be no military cooperation, and the Ukrainians will not enjoy quick employment in the EU member states.
The Senate, the upper chamber of the Dutch parliament, does not participate in the 2017 Dutch general vote on March 15 to elect all 150 members of the House of Representatives.
Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister for European integration Olena Zerkal earlier predicted that 43-44 out of the 75 Senate members were ready to back the ratification, while the Dutch government estimated that about 90-91 members of the House of Representatives could vote in favor of the deal.