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THE HAGUE, May 30. /TASS/. The Dutch senate has voted in favor of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine. As many as 50 senators out of 75 have supported the document.
The People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, the Labor Party, the GreenLeft party, the Democrats 66 party, the Christian Union, the Reformed Political Party, the Independent Senate Group and 9 out of 12 members of the Christian Democratic Appeal party backed the agreement.
Now the document needs to be signed by King of the Netherlands Willem-Alexander, but it will only be a formality since the king does not interfere in solving political issues. The document will come into force after it is published in an official newspaper.
In 2015, the Netherlands had ratified the agreement but later it was decided to hold an advisory referendum. On April 6, 2016, around 61% of voters rejected the document. However, the country’s government did not immediately refuse to ratify the agreement. Instead, Prime Minister Mark Rutte held talks with Brussels which resulted in a EU declaration saying that the people’s concern should be taken into consideration. At the same time, the declaration said that the Association Agreement did not mark the beginning of Ukraine’s EU membership process, it also did not provide security guarantees or stipulate that additional financial assistance would be provided to Kiev. Besides, Ukrainians will not receive the right to reside and work in the EU.
After that, Rutte relaunched the ratification process. The lower chamber of the Dutch parliament approved the agreement on February 23. Those opposing the document, including the Party for Freedom led by Geert Wilders and the Socialist Party, have been reiterating the need to take the people’s will into account, saying that people had voted against the association and not for adopting an additional declaration.