Letter to the Second Chamber concerning the interpretation of the Referendum result

This article is a translation of "Brief aan Tweede Kamer over duiding refereudumuitslag"

In light of the debate in the Second Chamber on Wednesday evening 1 April next on the significance of the outcome of the Referendum of 6 April last concerning the Association Treaty with Ukraine the Centrum voor Geopolitik has sent a letter outlining its views to MP´s. The Centre and OorlogIsGeenOplossing have made a serious effort, based on facts and arguments, to contribute to the No campaign.

Dear members of the Second Chamber,

Next Wednesday evening you will be discussing the significance of the result of the Referendum of 6 April last on whether the EU Association Treaty with Ukraine should be ratified. Two-thirds of the votes cast said No. From a survey of the NOS it became clear that around on-quarter of those staying at home had done so because they did not expect that the government would do anything with a result anyway.

There is therefore every reason for the government and the parties that previously said Yes to this treaty to take serious the outcom—unless one holds the view that the fact that large parts of the Dutch public have no confidence in policy in this issue and doubt the readiness of The Hague to listen to the verdict.

Oorlog Is Geen Oplossing has made an effort to make a contribution to the No campaign that was seriously considered and based on facts and arguments.

Now that we face the question what should be done with the result we propose to apply this to the defence cooperation provisions, as was already suggested by prime minister Rutte in the media and secretary Koenders in his letter to your Chamber this morning.

As we have argued on our website, the seizure of power of February 2014 has given Ukrainian ultranationalists and fascists a key role in the country's defence and security structures. In particular, the appoint of Andriy Parubiy as Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council, with Dmytro Yarosh as his deputy, illustrates to what extent these forces have claimed the main role in formulating a violent response to the resistance to the coup d'état on the part of Russian or otherwise Russian-oriented Ukrainians and those in favour of a federal state form.

By signing the EU Association Treaty including the defece articls (4, 7 and 10), the Netherlands have declared itself in agreement with this civil war and the violence unleashed against the population in the east and the south. Professor Richard Sakwam a world-renowned specialist on Ukraine, in one of the discussion meetings we convened, argued that he considered it incomprehensivle that the EU, as a community of values, in fact support this course of events. For every time opportunities arose to reach a compromise solution, the aforementioned ultranationalists and fascists have responded with new acts of violence.

Parubiy resigned three weeks after the MH17 disaster, but in his quality as co-founder (along with Yatsenyuk) of the People´s Front party remains the deputy speaker of the Kiev parliament.

The transformation of Ukraine to a neoliberal economy oriented towards the EU has progressed to such a degree that the disastrous consequences which this in our estimate will have for the country will not be reversed by the Netherlands alone (assuming one would want this to begin with). But defence cooperation can again be put on the agenda, something that is possible and may also garner support from other countries should the Netherlands propose an amendment based on facts.

Until now these facts have largely remained unspecified.

We urgently call on the Second Chamber to reconsider the real course of events which in February 2014 led to the appointment of Yatsenyuk as prime minister and make a well-founded proposal in the EU to remove defence cooperation from the Association Treaty before proceeding with ratification.

This request not only would do justice to the result of the Referendum, but also chime with the advice of the Raad van State regarding the bill concerning ratification of the EU Association Treaty, viz., the importance awarded by the Raad van State to the intention inscribed into the Treaty to take into consideration the current situation in Ukraine.

on behalf of OorlogIsGeenOplossing,

Kees van der Pijl
Jan Schaake

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