News > JEF Europe Press release: The future of Ukraine is European

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  • 7th April 2016 - 14:48 GMT
Participative democracy and civil dialogue

JEF Europe Press release: The future of Ukraine is European

JEF Europe is indignant and infuriated about the results of the Dutch Ukraine referendum and calls upon European governments to establish a Single Foreign Policy for the EU.

The Young European Federalists (JEF Europe), acknowledge with indignation that a majority of voters, if only a minor share of the Dutch citizens, voted against the signature of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement in yesterday’s (6 April 2016) referendum. However, we recall that for the Dutch public opinion the referendum was only marginally related to the Association Agreement but rather an expression of a discomfort with domestic political elites and European integration more broadly, lessening the democratic legitimacy of the outcome. JEF Europe deplores the weak position the Dutch government has adopted throughout the campaign and calls upon governments across Europe to speak out loudly for the values of the European Union and to stand up to populist and xenophobic resentment.

The Dutch referendum is a bad example of how one Member State can block the common EU foreign policy. JEF Europe clearly condemns the dictation of the direction of EU foreign policy by less than one per cent of the EU population. We want the EU’s foreign policy to be of the Union, for the Union: a non-binding referendum in one Member State cannot be allowed to overrule the will of the other Member States and the European citizens.

We are convinced that further European integration of Ukraine will be mutually beneficial and are concerned about the results of the referendum. JEF Europe will continue its work to make sure that the Netherlands, one of the founding members of the EU, are aware of the importance of supporting further and deeper European integration of Ukraine.

The Treaties of the European Union provide that every European country can become a full member of the European Union, provided that certain criteria are met. All suggestions that Ukraine could never become a Member State are therefore unlawful. JEF Europe calls upon the EU to give Ukraine a clear European perspective and highlight the clear requirements for further integration steps.

JEF Europe explicitly supports Ukraine during its transition process towards an improved application of the rule of law and democratic standards, and hopes that the negative result of the Dutch referendum will not hinder this process. JEF Europe welcomes the interest of a Ukrainian contact group to become a JEF section, and will continue to wholeheartedly support the development of the group. Simon Devos, JEF Europe’s contact person for Ukraine: ‘In 2014, during the “Euromaidan” demonstrations, Ukrainians have shared their desire to be part of a strong and unified Europe. We must never give up this idea. The future of Ukraine is European if the Ukrainian people so choose.’

Simon Devos
JEF Europe contact person for Ukraine
+49 152 55378365

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