Dutch reject EU association agreement with Ukraine – what happens now?

Dutch voters opposed a trade deal between the EU and Ukraine No:62%,Yes:38%, in a result that could trigger ructions in Brussels and boost those in the UK campaigning for Britain to leave the bloc. (Financial Times)

The Dutch Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement referendum is a referendum on the approval of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine. The referendum question was: “Are you for or against the Approval Act of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine?

What is happening now?

Peter Van Elsuwege, professor of European Union law at Ghent Universit, explains in his blog:

The legal implications of a Dutch no vote may be rather limited. The referendum is consultative and there is a turn-out requirement of 30 per cent. However, if the Approval Act is rejected by a significant majority of the population, the political leaders cannot simply ignore the outcome.


A pragmatic solution to such a (so far hypothetical) situation could be the adoption of a so-called ‘adjusting protocol’ to the agreement. The most visible consequence of such a protocol would be the formal amendment of the agreement, implying that “the Netherlands” should be deleted as one of its contracting parties. As a result, those provisions of the Association Agreement belonging to Member State competences would not be applicable in the Netherlands.

Continue to read on his blog.