The Netherlands embraces Ukraines candidate membership of the European Union. Foreign Minister Hoekstra said this at the end of the Council of Ministers.
“This is the signal that goes from we are not going to let Ukraine down, says Hoekstra. “The European Commissions proposal does justice to the situation in Ukraine, so lets do this.”
Hoekstra says that everything has been taken into account and that the proposal is “well balanced”. He expects that “for the sake of unity” the Dutch parliament and the other EU countries can agree to candidate membership.
In the run-up to todays proposal, the Netherlands considered critical, and preferred that the European Commission set conditions for candidate membership, a kind of candidate candidate. Ukrainian President Zelensky addressed Prime Minister Rutte personally about this.
Hoekstra and Rutte contradict that with these earlier statements they gave a different impression than the position the cabinet is now taking. Rutte calls the compromise smart and good. “The system of accession remains intact,” says Rutte. “While that signal is also being delivered.”
The European Commissions proposal does not mean that the candidacy is a fact; the Member States have yet to make a decision about that. The government leaders of the 27 EU countries are expected to take a decision next Thursday.
On Wednesday, the House of Representatives will debate the Dutch deployment at this EU summit.