Statement by Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, on the vote in the Dutch Senate on the ratification of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine
Brussels, 30 May 2017
Today’s vote in the Dutch Senate sends an important signal from the Netherlands and the entire European Union to our Ukrainian friends: Ukraine’s place is in Europe. Ukraine’s future lies with Europe.
I would like to thank the Dutch government and the leadership of other parties for their efforts in bringing this process to a positive conclusion. We are nearly there. Our Association Agreement, including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area component, is now one step closer to being ratified. I would like to see the process now being finalised swiftly, in time for the EU-Ukraine Summit in July.
The European Union is fully committed to our partnership with the Ukrainian people, which has developed into one of our closest and most valued. The Association Agreement has already increased trade between us, has brought increased prosperity for entrepreneurs, has helped to initiate and consolidate a number of reforms in Ukraine, and has brought new opportunities to European Union and Ukrainian citizens alike. Let us harness the positive momentum generated by today’s vote to further strengthen our partnership.
In 2014 the European Union and Ukraine signed an Association Agreement, marking a new state in the development of EU-Ukraine relations. The Association Agreement will enter into force once all parties to the Agreement have ratified it.
On Externer Link: 15 December 2016, the EU Heads of State and Government agreed on a legally binding decision setting out their common understanding of certain aspects of the Association Agreement with Ukraine: clarifying that the agreement does not confer European Union membership perspective, or offer collective security guarantees or military aid/assistance to Ukraine or give Ukrainian nationals access to the labour markets of EU Member States, that it does not commit Member States to financial assistance to Ukraine and underlining that the fight against corruption is an essential element of the Agreement.
On 16 December, the Dutch Government adopted a draft law confirming the ratification of the Association Agreement by the Netherlands.
On 23 February, the draft law received support from the lower house. On 23 May, the Senate held a debate with a majority being in favour of the ratification. Today’s vote in the Senate follows this debate.
The Netherlands shall finalise its ratification process according to their national provisions. They include the signature of the law by the King, its publication in the Official Journal of the Netherlands and the deposit of their instrument of ratification to the General Secretariat of the Council.
After this, the EU side will need to finalise procedures for the conclusion of the Agreement and deposit its instruments of ratification. The Agreement will enter into force the first day of the second month following the date of deposit of the last instrument of ratification or approval.
Quelle: Externer Link: http://europa.eu
President comments on the decision by the Dutch Senate to ratify the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement (30.05.2017)
Senate of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the upper house of the Parliament, has just adopted the decision to ratify the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement.
This path turned out to be long and much harder than we had imagined at the beginning of this process. Why so? Kremlin, contaminated by chronic anti-Ukrainian sentiment, has been hindering every our step. It has used all the available resources: money, propaganda, lies, mischief-making, intelligence structures and groups of influence. Anti-European populist forces inside the European Union have been playing along using the existent bureaucratic hooks and making up new ones. All this had a single purpose—prevent ratification of the Agreement, bury it and, thus, terminate Ukraine’s heading on reunification with our European family.
It is truly a reunification, for historically we have been a part of it… By the way, since the days of Ukrainian Prince Yaroslav the Wise and his daughter Anna Yaroslavna, whom Putin yesterday tried to steal to Russian history in front of the whole Europe.
You all know that the process of ratification has been delayed in the Netherlands on the very homestretch. Our historic agreement faced a real threat. Until the last moment, the entire diplomatic team of the country struggled for the stars on the European sky to be favorable for Ukraine. Our European partners supported and assisted us in this issue.
I am sincerely grateful to my friend Prime Minister Mark Rutte, the Government of the Netherlands, the States General and Senate for their support. On behalf of the Ukrainian nation, I am grateful to the Dutch citizens most of whom have not supported the anti-European party during the recent elections delegating the authority to the responsible pro-European forces instead.
After the election in Austria, the Netherlands, France, completion of the ratification of the Association Agreement with Ukraine has cemented positive trends towards consolidation of pro-European forces that had certain problems because of the Dutch referendum and Brexit.
We have gained an important victory together. We have defended the Association Agreement, the path to which had been paved three years ago by the participants of Euromaidan and Revolution of Dignity.
The first year of temporary application of the Agreement demonstrated its high potential for Ukraine. Our export to the EU countries increased by almost a quarter (by 24.5%). Ukraine is gradually integrating into the European policy in many spheres.
Entry into force of the Association Agreement, free trade area and visa-free regime with the EU that will start in exactly 10 days are crucially important on our way to the United Europe.
We are strongly committed to reach our strategic goal. This is the guarantee of our freedom, independence and territorial integrity. Europe is our civilizational choice.
The Netherlands will soon convey the instrument of ratification to Brussels. Then, with its special decision, the Council of the EU will launch the implementation of the Association Agreement with the EU at full capacity.
Glory to Europe!
Glory to Ukraine!
Reply by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova to a media question on the ratification of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement by the Dutch Parliament (30.05.2017)
Question: What could you say about the end of the saga on the ratification of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement by the Dutch Parliament and its future entry in force?
Maria Zakharova: You know that we do not interfere in relations between third countries. Right after the start of the temporary application of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement, the Russian leadership took adequate and, for that time, exhaustive measures to protect the internal market, which is a priority for us. Importantly, to preserve Russian-Ukrainian trade and economic ties we suggested resolving, in a legally binding way, Russia’s concerns over the introduction of the norms and rules of the deep and comprehensive EU-Ukraine free trade area. The fact that Brussels found a legally binding solution that opened the way for ratifying the Association Agreement in the Netherlands completely refutes the assertions of our opponents that they were impossible to resolve.
During the past year Russia and the rest of the world were watching with interest how the advocates of Ukraine’s European future spent 14 months to find a way out of the situation that took shape after the referendum in the Netherlands in which the Dutch people clearly expressed their opposition to the idea of tying Ukraine to the EU at all cost. Indicatively, this took place despite the powerful propaganda brainwashing by strategists from Brussels and other capitals, their own leaders and a political landing party from Kiev.
These dubious methods, to put it mildly, are on the conscience of Dutch politicians. Quite predictably, at the recent debates everything boiled down to evidence-free assertions of Moscow’s provocations, appeals for European solidarity in the face of the mythical "Russian threat” and so on.
However, all this leads to a sad conclusion: in fact, the Dutch people who said "no” to the association with Ukraine were taken for a ride. This was done by their own leaders who again resorted to openly Russophobic propaganda, which directly confirms the anti-Russian character of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement, regardless of any assurances to the contrary.
As for the Kiev authorities, the ratification of the ill-fated agreement will give them some time to continue telling Ukrainians fairy tales about "the bright European future”. These fairy tales have become much less impressive after the adoption of a legally binding decision by 28 EU countries to ensure the agreement’s ratification. Let me recall that it says in no uncertain terms that the association does not grant Ukraine a status of a EU candidate member. Nor does the agreement provide for any security guarantees, military aid or new EU financial commitments to Kiev. The agreement has no obligations on the free movement of labour, primarily Ukrainian. In the meantime Kiev continues ignoring Ukraine’s rapid transformation from an industrialised state into the EU’s agrarian raw material appendage. It is to be hoped that the wise Ukrainian people will figure things out.
Quelle: Externer Link: www.mid.ru