: :inin Kyiv (EET)

Dutch Parliament secures required majority to support ratification of EU-Ukraine deal – outcome of debate

The Parliament of the Netherlands (Second Chamber) has the required number of votes to support the bill introduced by the country`s government with a proposal to ratify the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement, an UNIAN news agency correspondent reported following a Tuesday debate in The Hague, held in the presence of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Foreign Minister Bert Koenders.

From the statements voiced it became clear that the bill would be supported by the parliamentary majority, which includes 150 deputies.

Among those who are set to support the motion is the People`s Party for Freedom and Democracy (Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie (VVD)) with its 40 deputies, Labour Party (Partij van de Arbeid (PvdA)), which has 35 deputies, Democrats 66  (Democraten 66 (D66)) with 12 votes, and the Green left (GroenLinks (GL), which have four voices. A total of 91 MPs are expected to support the ratification.

At the same time, there are forces who will vote ”against” the bill: Socialistische Partij (SP) with its 15 votes, the Freedom Party (Partij voor de vrijheid (PVV)) with 12 votes, and the Party for the Animals (Partij voor de dieren (PvdD)) with two votes, as well as small groups of deputies. The opposing camp accounts for 53 votes. Six members of parliament have not elaborated on their position.

The voting is scheduled for February 23.

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 lower chamber of the parliament.

The bill was posted together 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. 


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