: :inin Kyiv (EET)

Ukraine, the Netherlands working on compromise document for ratification of Association deal – media

The authorities of Ukraine and the Netherlands are developing a compromise document (an addendum to the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement), which will allow to complete the process of the deal`s ratification, the Segodnya newspaper reported citing its source in the Presidential Administration.

The document will include five key provisions, the source says.

”Late October there was a critical situation with the ratification of the Association Agreement. Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte called Petro Poroshenko and said that `the day after tomorrow` he would withdraw the Netherlands` signature under the Association Agreement. Ukraine has involved all international channels, including U.S. Vice President Joe Biden [to convince the Netherlands], had more than 20 telephone calls with our Western partners,” said the source.

Later, according to the source, there have been attempts to put to a vote in the Senate of the Netherlands the issue of withdrawing a signature under the Agreement and the issue of no confidence in the government [initiated by the opposition] but both initiatives lacked votes.

”Now we are calmly conducting a tripartite dialogue to develop a compromise document – I call it a solution. It provides for five key points: 1. The Agreement does not provide for Ukraine`s membership in the EU; 2. The agreement does not give Ukraine`s access to EU structural funds; 3. The agreement does not provide Ukraine security guarantees; 4. The Agreement does not give Ukraine the right to participate in defense unions; 5. The agreement does not give the Ukrainians the right to employment in the EU. In fact, the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement had not provided for any of these points. For example, when Denmark ratified the Lisbon treaty, they had a similar document with the warnings,” said a source in the PA.

According to him, the document must be presented at the EU summit in Brussels on December 15-16 and further adopted by the EU Council. At the same time, this document will not be legally binding for Ukraine as it will not have been ratified by all 28 EU Member States unlike the Association Agreement.

As UNIAN reported earlier, in July 2015, the Dutch parliament completed the procedure of ratification of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement. However, on April 6, 2016, a referendum was held in the Netherlands regarding the deal. Some 61% of votes were cast against the move to sign off the agreement, with only 38% in favor. The turnout was 32.28%. The European Commission and Ukraine both await proposals from the Dutch government regarding further steps following the referendum.

On September 22, PM Mark Rutte said his country may not ratify the Association deal in part of the DCFTA implementation. At the same time, he expressed hope that the DCFTA could still be enforced without the Netherlands, covering other 27 Member States and Ukraine.

The Dutch government before December 15-16 intends to continue negotiations with Ukraine, the EU, and Dutch opposition parties to reach a compromise that will allow the ratification of the Association Agreement and, at the same time, take into account the outcome of the Dutch poll.


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