CER podcast: The Dutch-Ukraine referendum

Rem Korteweg, Sophia Besch
01 April 2016

The CER's Sophia Besch talks to senior research fellow Rem Korteweg about the forthcoming Dutch referendum on the EU's association agreement with Ukraine on April 6th. Like the British referendum, the Dutch referendum risks making both the EU and its eastern neighbourhood less stable.

Rem Korteweg explains that the main common denominator between the groups organising the Dutch referendum is a dislike of the European Union, and its democratic deficit. 

The referendum was met with anxiety by the Dutch government and has prompted concern that the vote could derail Dutch foreign policy. While it is a non-binding referendum, given upcoming elections and the rise of eurosceptic sentiment, the government will likely consider the result on its merits. The No vote is ahead in the polls.

Korteweg argues that a Dutch No might not undermine the association agreement in its entirety, but it will at the very least create a sense of uncertainty about economic and political relations with Ukraine.

Korteweg highlights that the Dutch and British referendums may be the start of a trend towards more direct democracy and away from representative democracy in Europe. 

To read Rem Korteweg's insight on the upcoming Ukraine referendum in the Netherlands, click here.

Music by Edward Hipkins, featuring Ode to Joy by Beethoven.