A negative result on the referendum in the Netherlands regarding the Association Agreement with Ukraine could trigger a continental crisis, stated Jean Claude Juncker, President for the European Commission, in an interview with NRC Handelsblad on Saturday, January 9th.
“A ‘no’ answer in the Dutch non-binding vote may spark a continental crisis," he noted. "Let's not change the referendum into a vote about Europe," Juncker emphasized. "I sincerely hope that the Dutch won't vote no for reasons that have nothing to do with the treaty itself,” the President of the European Commission added. He emphasized that if there is a negative vote that Russia “will benefit the most” from it.
As was previously reported, the Electorate Council of the Netherlands has scheduled the referendum for the Ukraine -EU Association Agreement for Wednesday, 6 April 2016. The initial petition to bring the issue up for referendum quickly collected the necessary signatures. The signatures were collected largely due to the intensive online campaigning of GeenStijl, the satirical blog of the EU Burgercomite citizen group, Committee of EU Citizens and the Forum for Democracy, a eurosceptic think tank.
The Dutch Parliament completed the process for the ratification of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement on July 7th, 2015.