Dutch senators vote to end referendum law

, Comments 1 comment

Dutch senators narrowly approved plans to scrap a controversial referendum law Tuesday, clearing the final hurdle to ending a practice which saw voters reject a key EU-Ukraine pact two years ago.

"Forty senators voted in favour and 35 against the proposal to overturn the legislation about an advisory referendum," the Dutch upper house said in a statement.

The Senate vote is the final step towards abolishing a 2015 law on non-binding consultative referendums, with the process set in motion in October by Prime Minister Mark Rutte's new four-party coalition.

The legislation was initially introduced as a step towards having legally-binding referendums in this country of over 12 million eligible voters.

But in April 2016, a group of Dutch eurosceptic groups won a symbolic victory when voters roundly rejected a key EU-Ukraine treaty which was put to a referendum.

Although 60 percent of voters rejected the treaty, turnout was barely above the 30 percent needed for the results to be valid, dealing a humiliating blow to Rutte and his previous coalition at a time when the Dutch held the EU's rotating presidency.

Rutte later reached a compromise deal that limits the EU's defence commitments to Ukraine and does not provide any guarantees to Kiev of full EU membership in the future.

© 2018 AFP

1 Comment To This Article

  • Dave posted:

    on 11th July 2018, 16:07:42 - Reply

    So this removes the public participation in further EU integration, etc. So much for democracy. I had hoped the Netherlands would be more democratic than the UK, sadly not.