A referendum is scheduled in the Netherlands on the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement signed in 2014. Simon Otjes writes on the domestic political developments that led to the referendum being called and what the implications of a ‘no’ vote could be. He notes that while it is likely the agreement would simply be modified if Dutch voters reject it, the referendum will lay the foundations for the next parliamentary elections in 2017.
On 6 April, the Netherlands will hold a referendum on the Association Agreement signed between the European Union and Ukraine in 2014. The Economist has characterised the referendum as ‘bizarre’; while the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, has warned that a ‘no’ vote could lead to ‘a continental crisis’. But why has a referendum been called and how is the campaign shaping up? And what will be the implications of the vote?