While participating voters in the Netherlands were clearly against offering an EU association agreement to Ukraine, euroskeptic politicians across Europe interpreted the result as a slap in the face to the entire 28-member bloc.
Dutch populist, euroskeptic lawmaker Geert Wilders wrote that the 64 percent of voters who rejected the EU-Ukraine deal had sent a clear message to EU leaders.
It looks like the Dutch people said NO to the European elite and NO to the treaty with the Ukraine. The beginning of the end of the EU.
— Geert Wilders (@geertwilderspvv) 6 апреля 2016 г.
Voter turnout stood at a projected 32 percent, just clearing the 30-percent minimum required for the vote to be valid.
With a close EU referendum of their own approaching, euroskeptic politicians in Britain paid particularly close attention to the Dutch poll. UK Independence Party (UKIP) member of European Parliament Roger Helmer said the vote was a blow against the EU.
Well done the Dutch! Just 11 weeks before our EU Referendum, they’ve struck a major blow for independence and democracy — & against the EU — Roger Helmer (@RogerHelmerMEP) 7 апреля 2016 г.
Leave EU, one of the main groups calling for the British to vote to leave the EU in a June 23 referendum, said the Dutch vote showed that a founding EU member was skeptical of the bloc’s policies.
“Nobody could accuse the Dutch of not being good Europeans, but they have no willingness to open their borders to more migrants and pick up the tab for Ukraine’s problems, just like most UK voters,” said Leave.EU spokesman Brian Monteith. “The sun is now setting on the European Union.”
UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who went to campaign in the Netherlands, said members of the Dutch group that organized opposition to the Ukraine deal would also come to Britain.
Just spoken to @GeenPeil celebration party on speaker phone. Lots of them planning to come over and campaign for UK referendum.
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) 6 апреля 2016 г.
The head of the German right-wing party Alternative for Germany (AfD) in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Marcus Pretzell, applauded the Dutch for “avoiding another EU mistake.”
Messages of congratulations also came from French Front National leader Marine Le Pen, who said the vote was another step toward a Europe of nations.
Bravo @geertwilderspvv ! Un pas de plus vers l’Europe des Nations. MLP
— Marine Le Pen (@MLP_officiel) 6 апреля 2016 г.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Twitter that Dutch voters showed their attitude towards Ukraine’s current political system.
Итоги голландского референдума об ассоциации Украины с ЕС – индикатор отношения европейцев к украинской политической системе — Дмитрий Медведев (@MedvedevRussia) 7 апреля 2016 г.
The Dutch government said it would take the non-binding referendum’s result into consideration. Dutch parliament has already approved the agreement, though the ratification process has not been completed. Provisionally already in place, all 27 other EU members have ratified the deal, which requires unanimous approval before it completely goes into effect.