New Advances of Democracy in Europe: Deputies Reversing the Referendum Verdict in Holland

SP votes with the people as Senate overturns referendum result on Ukraine treaty

After the voters had given a clear NO to the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine, the Senate has followed Parliament’s Lower House in voting to accept the controversial treaty and bring it into force. ‘The reason for this was the about-face by the centre-right CDA.,’ explains SP Senate leader Tiny Kox. While CDA Lower House leader Sybrand Buma and his colleagues voted to reject the treaty, fearing that to vote against would increase still further the public’s cynicism about The Hague and Brussels, most of the Christian Democrats in the Senate voted in favour. ‘So Premier Mark Rutte has succeeded in turning a clear NO into a dubious YES. The European Commission will be cheering, but the voters won’t,’ Kox added.

Delivering her explanation of vote, SP Senate deputy leader Arda Gerkens said ‘Once again it turns out that our representative democracy, when it comes down to it, is not prepared to give any room to a form of direct democracy. The right to an advisory referendum, an initiative from our people’s representatives, is thus a dead letter.’ The SP, however, Gerkens concluded ‘want to keep our promises and so will not support this bill.