While I completely acknowledge that this referendum vote is rather an issue between the Netherlands and Brussels, I still feel it is important to convey a few simple arguments in favor of a pro-‘yes’-choice on April 6.
1. Over years the Netherlands has become 2nd largest foreign direct investor into Ukraine, and if one dismisses Cyprus for well-known reasons — Netherlands are the top-1 investor with almost $6 bln. It infers, therefore that the Dutch business is confident about Ukraine’s development perspectives. Moreover, the Netherlands is among 5 Ukraine’s top trading partners and emergent area for Shell activities. The Association treaty seems to be a win-win option.
2. Within last 10 years Ukrainians had not travelled to Europe in search for any social benefits — but to study, to shop and to work jobs others won’t take. One cannot identify any Ukrainian ethnic quarters in Western European cities or single Ukrainians out in any crime statistical reports. Therefore, the Association with its limited (90 days every 6 months) offer of visa liberalization does not, therefore, promise to bring any additional pressure upon Europe’s social and labor policies.
3. Through tight cooperation with the EU Ukraine’s border guard has proved to be apt enough to put a halt not only upon the Middle East spread of migration, but has also stopped any possible outflows resulting from Russian invasion of Ukraine’s Crimea and the country’s East. Ukraine has long ceased to be a transit nation for illegal migration.
4. Despite being never invited to join NATO, Ukraine has been top-1 most involved country into all of the Alliance operations in years. Ukraine’s Antonov largest in the world cargo jets carry NATO troops around the planet hard-duty and its peacekeepers serve with NATO and UN stabilization missions in most places where such missions were set. Ukraine is the only country in the world which gave away its third-largest nuclear arsenal without any particular or acute need of doing so, just in spite of a commitment to peaceful future of humankind and relying on guarantees provided by the UK, the US and Russia back in 1995…
5. Finally, the DCFTA and EU-Ukraine Agreement is not regarded as a road paver for EU membership any time soon. It has two objectives. One is promote Ukraine’s hard-won democracy and to support its push towards ’emerging market’ and OECD excellence standards. Another is to make Mr. Mass Murderer from Moscow understand that Ukraine is gone for good and his twilight dreams to build a mirky Eurasian edition of a Fourth Reich are null and void. This treaty will also keep Ukraine away from so-called illiberal democracy, now triumphant in Eastern Europe with its delusions of ‘national pride’ and aggressive foreign policy. Unfortunately, the ‘nay’-vote in the referendum will at least spare Ukraine’s pro-Europe liberals of most arguments supporting human rights progress.
On the contrary, the Dutch ‘yes’-vote will undoubtedly strengthen liberal and progressive attitudes and add up to make the world a better place.