Cabinet: Netherlands embraces Ukraine as EU candidate

The Netherlands embraces Ukraines candidate membership of the European Union. Foreign Minister Hoekstra said this at the end of the Council of Ministers.

โ€œThis is the signal that goes from we are not going to let Ukraine down, says Hoekstra. โ€œThe European Commissions proposal does justice to the situation in Ukraine, so lets do this.โ€

Hoekstra says that everything has been taken into account and that the proposal is โ€œwell balancedโ€. He expects that โ€œfor the sake of unityโ€ the Dutch parliament and the other EU countries can agree to candidate membership.

Critical

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. โ€œThe system of accession remains intact,โ€ says Rutte. โ€œWhile that signal is also being delivered.โ€

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.