The Dutch Cabinet approved a bill which aims to “pave the way for the ratification of the Association agreement between Ukraine and the EU,” writes the Associated Press. According to the Agency, the decision was made contrary to the results of the past in the Netherlands, the referendum in which the majority of citizens opposed the Association of the European Union and Ukraine.
The bill must pass through both chambers of the Parliament of the Netherlands. Prime Minister mark Rutte declared that should be “hard work” to ensure the adoption of the document. His coalition, the AP says, has 75 seats out of 150 in the house of representatives and no majority in the upper house of Parliament, where it will be forced to rely on the support of the Pro-European opposition.
“This ensures that Europe can be and remain a United front against the growing destabilizing Russian foreign policy, which has a direct impact on the security of the Netherlands,” said Rutte during a press conference in the Hague, noting that ratification of the agreement is in the interests of the Netherlands.
On the eve of the EU leaders agreed to the terms of the Netherlands, nominated to the Association agreement between the EU and Ukraine entered into force. In particular, the Association agreement with Ukraine will not give the country the status of a member or applicant for membership in the European Union. The agreement also will require Brussels to provide Ukraine with collective security guarantees and military assistance, and do not give Ukrainian citizens the right to live and work in the EU. The document does not limit the member countries of the EU to resolve these issues with Kiev on a bilateral level. The agreement does not contain obligations for the provision of financial assistance by the EU to Ukraine.
Rutte before the start of the summit, said his government need assurance that an agreement will not lead to Ukraine’s gaining membership in the European Union, to ratify the document in Parliament.
Also on 15 December the European Parliament approved rules for the suspension of visa-free regime for citizens of “third countries”. The mechanism can be used in four cases: if it is serious, a growing number of refusals to citizens of these countries travelling to the EU; if these countries, a growing number of unfounded applications for refugee status; if the authorities of the “third parties” refuse to cooperate in the repatriation; if the growing risks of internal security in the EU, associated with citizens of “third countries”.
As written , the decision of the European Parliament on the mechanism of “rolling back” the visa-free regime — the penultimate step before the complete abolition of visas for partners of the EU. The last step is the vote in the European Parliament on specific States. Plenary session on the issue of Ukraine is scheduled for April 3, 2017. Following the vote, the final decision must pass the approval of the Council of Europe.