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The EU has concluded a treaty with Ukraine focused on economic cooperation and free trade. It also establishes a political association and a visa-free movement of people. In exchange for political and financial support, Ukraine commits itself to several reforms converging to European norms. Everything seemed to go smoothly, until GeenPeil – a coalition of a few smaller organisations – decided to organise a referendum on April 6th. On this day, the Dutch population can give her opinion on the approval of the treaty.
To create some order in the chaos, we have invited five speakers who will enlighten us with their vision and ideas, after which they will enter into a debate. On the side of the proponents of the referendum – who are against the treaty – is Arjan van Dixhoorn. He is the chairman of Burgercomité EU, one of the initiators of the referendum. Bob van den Bos, political scientist and former member of the Dutch and European parliament for D66, is an opponent and in favour of the treaty. He argues that a treaty this complicated is unsuitable for a referendum, and that the EU already has several of such agreements with different countries. It focuses on trade, and not on an EU-membership for Ukraine. Our final guests are Peter van Ham, a senior research fellow at the Clingendael Institute specialised in diplomacy and foreign affairs, and René Cuperus, who is a social democrat and writes columns in de Volkskrant.
Date: 3 March 2016
Place: Raadszaal, Achter Sint Pieter 200, Utrecht
Time: 19.15 – 22.00 (doors open: 18.45).
Costs: members free, non-members €3,-
Please sign up by sending an email to email@example.com or fill in the Google Docs form below! See you on the 3rd of March!