Agriculture Minister Adema regrets that he did not inform the House of Representatives earlier about the problems of fertilizer policy. He believes that “in retrospect” should give “an additional signal”.
Yesterday it was announced via NOS that the European Commission has been aware for weeks of the demand that Dutch farmers will have to deal with stricter fertilizer regulations from 1 January 2023, not just from 2024, as Adema wanted.
Dutch farmers occupy a special position in the European fertilizer policy, the so-called exception. They are allowed to dump more fertilizer than farmers in other countries for a few more years. In turn, it should start gradually on January 1, 2023 to make surface water cleaner.
After intense negotiations, the agreements became official on September 30, 2022. The Ministry of Agriculture felt that these deals could still be negotiated to further weaken them. It turned out to be the wrong decision.
lose the exceptional status
EU Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius warned in mid-December that the Netherlands really should start on 1 January 2023. If this does not happen, the Netherlands threatens to lose all its exceptional position.
Adema is now urging farmers to take action to make ditches and surface waters cleaner from March 1. These are buffer strips where fertilizing and growing certain crops are not allowed, for example, along ditches. It is not yet clear whether the European Commission will approve 1 March.
Emma Fitzgerald is an accomplished political journalist and author at The Nation View. With a background in political science and international relations, she has a deep understanding of the political landscape and the forces that shape it.