I think the EU has no business in Ukraine. It seems that quite a few Dutch people share that view. In particular they don’t want visa-free travel from Ukraine, and their money being spent there unaccountably;
Now, for the first time in EU history, a national population is close to succeeding in forcing its government to answer to the will of the people directly. The largest Dutch political and entertainment blog, GeenStijl.nl, has launched a campaign to mount a referendum on the new treaty between the EU and Ukraine. The treaty would endorse the creation of a visa-free travel arrangement between Ukraine and the EU, and Dutch taxpayers would have to donate financial aid to Ukraine without knowing how Ukraine would spend it. The Netherlands would have to contribute to “powerful support for the European course of the country,” which would mean increased involvement in the Ukrainian civil war.
By law, the campaign has to be conducted within six weeks, in which 300,000 signatures need to be collected in order to approve a referendum. Within the first three weeks, GeenStijl gathered 150,000 signatures, half the number required, and chances are it will succeed in crossing the 300,000 mark before the deadline, September 28.
Why do so many Dutch citizens seem to oppose the EU-Ukraine treaty enough to want to undo it through a referendum? Above all, they seem affronted that they were never consulted by their elected officials, who never even mentioned the treaty during the 2012 Dutch national elections. The treaty was ratified by the Dutch government this summer, after almost no debate about the issue. It all happened in line with how Jean-Claude Juncker prefers making policy: “If no one kicks up a fuss, because most people do not understand what has been decided, we continue step by step until there is no turning back.”
Other objections seem to be that Dutch citizens do not see why they should associate themselves with a country that is highly corrupt. It is likely that the financial aid Dutch taxpayers — as a party to this treaty — will have to send to Ukraine will not be used the way it is meant to be.
Ukraine also has a strong far-right political undercurrent that is not compatible with Dutch political culture; Ukraine is in a state of civil war, and also in a state of war (by proxy) with the continent’s strongest military power, Russia.
In addition, the treaty would imply the creation of a visa-free travel arrangement between Ukraine and EU member states. Since Ukraine is a major hub for human trafficking, one of the “largest suppliers of slave labor in Europe” and one Europe’s most important transit countriesfor international drug trafficking, it may be understandable why the Dutch would oppose an unrestricted travel arrangement between Ukraine and the EU.
The Netherlands is a small country, but the consequences, if and when this referendum succeeds, could be very significant. First, a referendum in the Netherlands would create the precedent of even having EU referenda by “mere” citizens. The process could easily be replicated for future referenda. Second, it could inspire other national populations of EU member-states to undertake similar ventures. If that ball starts rolling, European populations could take back the sovereignty that the EU gradually took from them. It could also send a serious message to the unelected, non-transparent and unaccountable EU as a whole.
Nigel Farage on EU immigration.
I had warned back in April that I believed the implementation of the EU Common Asylum Policy had set the bounds so wide that virtually anyone who sets foot on European Union (EU) soil can stay. In order for this policy to work, the concept of burden-sharing between member states is vital. Juncker’s first pitch at this was in May this year with 40,000 migrants to be shared out.
This week the figure had increased to 160,000, still only a fraction of those who have come. I still believe that many member states will be deeply reluctant to join this scheme and that Juncker has a real crisis in holding these nation states together.
But the real surprise was a short paragraph on a Common EU Immigration policy. All the old arguments were used: Europe’s population was in decline and ageing and therefore immigration into Europe was vital. Indeed his predecessor, Manuel Barroso, once suggested that the EU may need as many 50 million migrants…
This is important for Mr Juncker and his friends because as the European Union loses popularity with its electorates, what better way to prop up EU support than vast numbers of first generation pro-EU migrants.
It is all reminiscent of what Blair did in Britain and exposed why Labour are so strong in London.