Dutch citizens vote in a consultative referendum on the Association Agreement between the European Union and the Ukraine on April 6. The discussion is heated. In Brussels, the EU keeps a close eye on the outcome in the Dutch referendum. At stake is not only a trade union and closer cooperation between these two parties, but also the relations between member states within the EU. Is this referendum not actually a turning point, a battle for the future of Europe?
Opponents of the treaty with Ukraine consider it an undemocratic attempt to increase the power of the EU. In their eyes, the EU is a bureaucratic monster that gradually threatens the sovereignty of its member states while simultaneously robbing them. They turn their backs to the EU, reject the transfer of sovereign power to Brussels and withdraw behind clearly defined national boundaries. Proponents of the agreement emphasize the need to stand together within Europe in order to ensure security, stability and economic prosperity for all European citizens. Without dismissing the need for questioning the current EU, they still see it as the best way to reinforce European cooperation and values such as peace, civil rights, solidarity and prosperity – values that must be accessible to everyone.
Where do Europe’s borders actually lie? Are these borders geographically, historically or culturally defined? Is further expansion of the EU necessary, and what is the role of America and Russia? ‘The Battle for Europe’ presents a lively debate between euro critics and euro lovers, between supporters and opponents of rapprochement with Ukraine and allows you to discuss with thinkers and politicians of international standing about the fundamental problem underlying the Dutch Referendum: What kind of Europe do we want?