Times: Today, the Dutch say no Ukraine, and tomorrow - the European Union

The results of the Dutch referendum on the European integration of Ukraine will have long-lasting consequences for the EU, writes Times columnist Roger Boyes. According to him, the voting success can inspire his supporters to hold a new election - this time of withdrawal of the Netherlands from the European Union.

The European crisis is largely due to the deep gap between the constantly irritated EU officials and ordinary people who want to know why no one is interested in their opinion, writes Times columnist Roger Boyes. As he believes, the referendum in the Netherlands is trying to direct anger not so much to the side of its deliberations, but in the direction of the European Union.

At first glance, the Dutch elections look like a purely internal event. Local government is under pressure from eurosceptics forced to seek public approval of the agreement between Ukraine and the EU. The draft agreement called pro-European protests in the Ukrainian capital and forced the “authoritarian president” Viktor Yanukovych to flee to Russia in February 2014. “And it is precisely because of this transaction Vladimir Putin snatched the Crimea and destabilized the east of Ukraine, considering that even the European Union can not take the country in which the mines are falling on the building of city administration,” - says the author.

The agreement on association with Ukraine as a whole was approved by the European Union, but it can be accepted only with the full consent of the Netherlands. Theoretically, the Dutch government can ignore the referendum and its results interpreted as an advice. In practice, the large turnout and a high number of votes against the agreement will force the Hague to reconsider its policy.

Thus, the Dutch referendum is dedicated to a narrower issue than the British, but it creates a similar feeling of anxiety, said Boyes. Although the participation of Ukraine in the European Union is not a question of the near future, and the Ukrainians will not be easy to get a work visa in the Dutch labor market, migration and borders control underlie this problem. If Turkey will receive a visa-free access to the EU in exchange for acceptance of refugees and Ukraine will give the green light, then the Netherlands with their 16 millionth population will have to open the door to 45 million Ukrainians and 75 million Turks.

According to the journalist, the far-right Freedom Party “bleached” Geert Wilders and other Eurosceptics believe that the attitude towards Europe is changing rapidly due to the fear of mass migration. So if the Dutch say no European integration of Ukraine today, it could give a new impetus to the British to withdraw from the European Union (Brexit) campaign. And as if that is successful, weakened by the Dutch government may next year be faced with the requirement to hold a new referendum, this time to withdraw from the EU Netherlands (Nexit).

It will be a real nightmare for the European establishment, Boyes said. After all, the Benelux countries on a par with France and Germany are the center of European integration.

But whatever the result of this referendum, they bring political capital of Euro-skeptics. Even if European integration opponents lose, the British, fighting for a way out of the EU will be able to “call the ghosts” of the Dutch campaign - the inevitable influx into the country of Ukrainians and Turks.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainians played a significant role in this vote. If they do not get a perspective on the European future, some initiatives to modernize their economies and clean, Putin fill the vacuum. Only the EU can encourage Kiev to new environmental standards, better law enforcement, protection of foreign investments and a more effective parliamentary government emphasizes Boyes.

According to the journalist, currently Putin cheers and “sometimes funded” European right-wing radicals, suggesting that those prolobbiruyut abolition of anti-Russian sanctions will interpret the Kremlin Ukrainian events and block the further expansion of the EU.

“Dutch voters is necessary to separate the false promise that their country will soon overflow migrants from the fact that Putin has systematically use violence for political gain - says British journalist -. He invaded Georgia as she slowly moved toward NATO destabilized Ukraine when she sought permission to enter the EU waiting room, and then looked at Syria. Now he looks towards the Nagorno-Karabakh, where proxy wars could break out between Azerbaijan and Armenia supports Putin supported by Turkey. ”

More than 190 Dutch people were killed in the crash of Malaysian airliner in Ukraine.

“Putin has brought into the world a new referendum cruelty - is a form of democratic expression;. Nobody wins if he would support the Russian leader, who so grossly neglects democracy” - concludes Roger Boyes.

In the Netherlands, held a referendum on Ukraine Association (text translation)

Source: ridus.ru

6 April 2016

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