February 1, 2023

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The minister apologizes for misinforming Parliament of European fertilizer rules

The minister apologizes for misinforming Parliament of European fertilizer rules

AP

NOS News

Minister of Agriculture Adema regrets that problems surrounding the dung policy were not reported to Parliament sooner. He believes “in retrospect” that he should have given “an additional signal”.

became yesterday Known through NOS That he had been aware for weeks of the European Commission’s demand that Dutch farmers should deal with stricter fertilizer regulations from January 1, 2023, and not just from 2024, as Adema wanted.

Dutch farmers have an exceptional position in European fertilizer policy, the so-called exception. It would allow them to spread more manure for a few years than farmers in other countries. In turn, the phasing out should start on January 1, 2023 to make surface waters cleaner.

After extensive negotiations, the agreements on this matter were formalized on September 30, 2022. The Ministry of Agriculture believed that these agreements could still be negotiated to further weaken them. Turns out that was a miscalculation.

You lose the exception position

Already in mid-December, European Commissioner Virginius Sienkevicius warned that the Netherlands should start already on January 1, 2023. If this does not happen, the Netherlands runs the risk of completely losing its exceptional position.

Adema now requires farmers to start taking measures to clean up trenches and surface water from March 1. These are, for example, buffer strips along the trenches where manure and the cultivation of certain crops are not allowed. It is not yet clear whether the European Commission will agree to the first of March.