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EU envoy optimistic about Dutch vote on EU-Ukraine deal

Tombinski : we must not dwell on negative scenarios at this point.

Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine Jan Tombinski hopes for a positive outcome of the Dutch referendum on the EU-Ukraine association agreement.

"I still believe that a vote in the Netherlands will be positive, so we must not dwell on negative scenarios at this point," he told journalists on 4 April.

"We know that the day after the referendum in the Netherlands, on 7 April, parliament will a hold meeting on the issue, and we will get an answer from the Dutch parliament on what happens next. Because the answer to the question of what to do with a hypothetical negative outcome of the referendum is up to the Dutch parliament. European institutions will then see what procedures will be applied by the Netherlands,” Tombinski went on.

A recent poll by I&O Research found that about 57 per cent of potential participants are prepared to say “No” and only 43 per cent “Yes” to the EU-Ukraine association agreement.

The Dutch government, which is presiding in the EU, has already signed the agreement but its ratification was delayed, as Dutch eurosceptics previously collected the necessary number of votes for a consultative referendum on the approval of the association agreement between the EU and Ukraine.

If the Dutch vote against Ukraine's associate membership of the EU with a turnout of at least 30 per cent, the Dutch government could take their opinion into consideration.