09:34 Jul. 7, 2016
Any alterations in the document may lead to re-ratifying the agreement by E.U. member states
The European Union will not make any changes in its association agreement with Ukraine to address Dutch voters' concerns, but may issue a declaration clarifying that the agreement brings Ukraine no closer to membership, E.U. diplomats said.
A majority in the Netherlands voted against the Ukraine trade and association agreement in a nonbinding referendum in April, making the Netherlands the only E.U. member not to ratify the agreement.
Jan Tombinski, head of the E.U. delegation to Ukraine, told reporters in Kyiv on July 6th that European leaders at a summit late last month told Dutch leaders that they should not propose any change in the association agreement's text that would force other E.U. members to have to ratify the agreement again.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said at the time he was seeking "legally binding" assurances that the E.U. would address Dutch voters' concerns.
Rather than change the agreement itself, E.U. leaders offered to issue a declaration clarifying that the agreement does not bring Ukraine any closer to E.U. membership, diplomats said.
Rutte was asked to come up with language for such a declaration, and bring it back for consideration at future E.U. summits, Tombinski and other E.U. diplomats said.