: Dutch Decision Time: Polls open on Ukraine's treaty with the E.U.
Politics09:58 Apr. 6, 2016

Dutch Decision Time: Polls open on Ukraine's treaty with the E.U.

The non-binding referendum is seen as a big test for European unity

Ukraine's future path towards Europe faces a massive test today as people in The Netherlands go to the polls. Voters are being asked to decide in favour and against the Ukraine-E.U. Association Agreement, a broad political, trade and defence treaty.

Now, about 8,000 poll stations are open until 21:00 local time. According to Dutch law, campaigning is even permitted on the day of the ballot - so we're expecting a last-ditch attempt to sway voters.

Read also Timothy Snyder: Yes to Security in Europe

The referendum itself is not just a test for Ukraine but for European unity. Supporters of the treaty say a 'for' result would enhance bilateral security, trade as well as Ukraine's fight against corruption.

Read also E.U. Commission: Dutch referendum on E.U.-Ukraine Association Agreement is ‘internal matter'

The 'against' campaign has mirrored much of the Kremlin's rhetoric, while also warning against E.U. expansionism and more bureaucracy in Brussels.

Opinion polls vary - with any outright winner hard to predict. Turnout is expected to be low - about 30 to 40%.

Watch also Ukraine Today's interviews of the #DUTCHINUA project

The result itself it non-binding but it is unlikely the outcome will be ignored - although the exact consequences of an ‘against' vote remain unknown.

Infographics by the Institute of World Policy (Click to enlarge)

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