The consequences of our ‘No’

07 Apr 2016 - 18:41
Bron: European Union 2016 - EP

At least 30 percent of the Dutch voters have cast their vote in the Ukraine referendum, and that the No camp has won with a vast majority.

With this result, the Netherlands is conveying some important messages. EU politicians have to deliver better EU policy, Ukraine should not act the victim, and EU issues demand EU-wide referenda, says Adriaan Schout (Clingendael).

‘No’ is not a reason for the Netherlands to feel guilty
The association agreement with Ukraine has been sparking heated debate between supporters and opponents. Both camps have inflated its significance. If the government acts on this ‘no’, legally speaking there will be no agreement between the EU and Ukraine.

The question is whether that will make much of a difference. According to the ‘no’ side that’s a good thing: Ukraine can continue to focus on trade with Russia and the EU is spared having to deal with a corrupt country. Nor does the ‘no’ camp believe the Netherlands has to answer to the EU or Ukraine over this. Those in favour, however, claim Ukraine’s progress will now be damaged, the Russian threat will increase, and the Maidan generation will lose its hope of establishing European values. According to the ‘yes’ camp, the Netherlands looks like a fool, because, just like with the European constitution in 2005, we have managed to ruin another European ambition.

Little effect
If the government acts on the ‘no’ vote, and supposing that, ultimately, there will be no association agreement, this will have little effect in practice. Too often in the past decades have we thought that EU policy would make the difference. Under the influence of the euro, South European countries would reform, but economic dynamism has failed to materialise while corruption and over-regulation in, for instance, Italy continue to proliferate.

Despite agreements and treaties, Europe’s external borders are still porous and Member States have often been incredibly slow to implement market legislation. With each crisis, countries prove to have great difficulty modernising, despite the many legal arrangements. Reforms affect existing power balances and economic relations and thus always meet with resistance. The fact that Greece is now finally reforming has little to do with treaties and agreements but simply with it being under supervision.

Modernising Ukraine
This association agreement would not have pulled Ukraine into the 21st century. Modernising is something that Ukrainians should mainly be doing themselves. It is up to the Ukrainian government, Ukrainian businesses and Ukrainian citizens to fight corruption and create trade opportunities. Ultimately, our ‘no’ has little to do with the choices the Ukrainians have to make themselves.

The European market is much bigger and more dynamic than the Russian one, and there is nothing stopping the Ukrainians to tailor their trade and values to the West. There is no reason for Ukraine to act the victim or say they have no longer a reason to reform now. If Ukraine chooses to modernise, neither the Netherlands nor the EU will abandon Ukraine. The EU will keep working towards trade liberalisation.

Reputational damage
Still, the Netherlands does have some explaining to do. The reputational damage will be far less as long as the Netherlands has a good story. There is no reason for us, just as there wasn’t in 2005, to be ashamed of this referendum. In the neighbouring countries they are also writing about the Ukraine agreement and similar views can be seen in the media there. In the United Kingdom, Brexit supporter Lord Owen calls the Ukraine agreement a dangerous example of European short-term thinking and in the German media the Dutch referendum is met with understanding.The Netherlands does not have a monopoly on doubts and primitive gut feelings about enlargement, on relations with Russia and on the preferred position of bordering country Ukraine.

The rejected agreement is a compromise between, mainly, Poland that wants enlargement and France that wants a trade agreement but not enlargement. That’s why it is more than a trade agreement but less than a political treaty. The EU has wanted to take things just one step too far and European politicians have insufficiently realised this. It is clear that the European negotiators should be better at assessing where the limits of European support lie; if not, the EU will be stumbling from one unsuccessful referendum to the next.

Referenda on EU policy will be taking place in more countries in the future. This referendum most likely does not make the Netherlands the EU-critical odd one out, but rather the forerunner in critically assessing European policy. ‘Yes’ would have been great, but this ‘no’ should be regarded constructively also by the rest of the EU.

The lesson that higher demands are now placed on the EU applies to all European politicians. They have to learn to be even less easily satisfied with the compromises they have to reach during the many difficult negotiations in Brussels. They should be better aware that at home different demands are made than in the Brussels arena.

It is moreover clear that if there will be more referenda, the instrument should be reviewed. One consequence of European integration is that issues that are clearly European require an EU-wide referendum. At the moment, with national referenda, any country may be the scapegoat. Besides, a national referendum generates political insights which later have to be shared EU-wide while the other countries may not be open to them.

Now that the EU is a political key issue Member States should also follow similar societal paths where EU subjects are concerned. There is no need for the Netherlands to feel guilty; but this ‘no’ does need a good European story.

357 Reacties

Load comments

sarika verma
do, 12/19/2019 - 10:23


Wondermouse technology is the top notch Web development company in India that offers innovative solutions that fulfill your business objectives. A group of young enthusiasts are here to cater for your achievement by providing all-round business development assistance. Hundreds of well-tested approaches are introduced after evaluating the present market for significant future growth. We are specialized in website design and web development services. Our website developers provide expert web application development and Web design services to our clients. we also offer services across the globe as Web design Dubai .

Wonderful illustrated information. I thank you about that. No doubt it will be very useful for my future projects. Would like to see some other posts on the same subject!
homes for sale in navarre

Tak hanya orang dewasa, saat ini gadget seperti laptop sudah umum digunakan anak anak sekolah bahkan oleh anak anak dasar. Oleh karena itu, membelikan tas anak yang memiliki fitur penyimpanan laptop dapat menjadi pilihan. Silahkan baca… rekomendasi tas ransel laptop sekolah anak , untuk informasi selengkapnya. Jika anak sekolah dasar saja sudah banyak menggunakan laptop untuk menunjang kegiatan belajar mengajar, maka sangat wajar jika anak kuliah pun menggunakannya. Tas ransel dengan fitur laptop case untuk anak sekolah tentu modelnya akan berbeda dengan tas ransel laptop untuk anak kuliah ataupun dewasa. Bagi yang membutuhkan referensi… tas ransel laptop untuk kuliah , dapat langsung membacanya di link sebelumnya. Ada beragam model dan fungsi tas ransel. Misalnya tas ransel laptop dan tas ransel gunung atau biasanya disebut tas carrier. Sebagaimana namanya, tas ransel laptop memiliki fitur penyimpanan laptop agar lebih aman saat dibawa (terkena guncangan). Lalu tas carrier biasanya tas ransel dengan ukuran cukup besar yang digunakan saat bekemah ataupun traveling ala ala backpacker dengan waktu yang relatif lama. Sehingga membutuhkan banyak barang yang diperlukan dalam rentang waktu yang lama tersebut. Tas carrier biasanya dibandrol dengan harga yang cukup mahal dibanding tas ransel model biasa. Bagi anda yang membutuhkan… tas ransel carrier dengan harga terjangkau , silahkan baca  referensi kami dengan mengklik link sebelumnya. Sebelum membaca artikel tas carrier yang kami rekomendasikan, anda dapat membaca terlebih dahulu… tips memilih tas ransel gunung , agar lebih memahami apa apa saja yang menjadi pertimbangan saat akan membeli tas carrier. Simak juga… tips dan cara merawat dan membersihkan tas carrier , agar awet dan dapat digunakan dalam jangka waktu yang lama. Bagi para wanita tampil baik di setiap aktivitas merupakan hal yang wajib, tidak terkecuali di saat saat santai atau melakukan aktivitas harian, seperti berbelanja ataupun sekedar antar jemput anak ke sekolah. Untuk menemani aktivitas sehari hari, berikut kami rekomendasikan beberapa model tas wanita yang cocok untuk kegiatan sehari hari anda, silahkan simak informasi selengkapnya. Bagi anda yang membutuhkan informasi mengenai tempat berbelanja tas wanita online yang terpercaya, dapat membaca artikel… toko tas wanita online terpercaya yang merupakan rekomendasi kami. Toko tas online yang menjual lengkap tas untuk pria, wanita, serta anak anak dapat menjadi pilihan yang tepat bagi anda yang ingin sekalian membelikan tas sekolah untuk anak. Selain hemat waktu, anda juga akan menghemat biaya pengiriman dibanding berbelanja di beda tempat. Sebelum berbelanja tas sekolah anak, anda dapat menyimak terlebih dahulu… tips cara memilih tas sekolah anak yang tepat . Bagi anda yang memiliki anak yang baru akan masuk sekolah TK, dan belum tahu akan membelikan tas sekolah anak dengan gambar apa, silahkan baca link ini:… rekomendasi gambar tas sekolah anak TK laki laki dan perempuan . Kami juga sekaligus memberikan informasi di mana saja tempat yang… jual online tas sekolah anak terpercaya . Jika kebetulan anda lebih suka berbelanja langsung, kami juga memiliki informasi… pusat belanja tas sekolah anak di Bandung , yang menjual beragam model tas sekolah untuk berbagai rentang usia, baik tas sekolah anak laki-laki ataupun perempuan.

Reactie toevoegen

Your name: Anoniem

Beperkte HTML

  • Toegelaten HTML-tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Regels en alinea's worden automatisch gesplitst.
  • Web- en e-mailadressen worden automatisch naar links omgezet.

Platte tekst

  • Geen HTML toegestaan.
  • Regels en alinea's worden automatisch gesplitst.
  • Web- en e-mailadressen worden automatisch naar links omgezet.