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After Farmers’ Party Victory, Dutch Government Rethinks “Green” Agenda


by Angeline Tan


Members of the Dutch government urged for changes to be made to the country’s “green” agenda following the unexpected victory of the pro-farmer party BoerBurgerBeweging (BBB) in recent provincial elections on March 15.

The BBB rose in popularity due to its opposition to the ruling government’s environmental policies imposing nitrogen restrictions that would jeopardize thousands of farmers’ livelihoods and caused widespread anger among farmers and their sympathizers. BBB will now form the largest party in the provinces as well as the Senate. Ninety-two percent of BBB voters cited the government’s nitrogen policy as the reason for their votes. Polls revealed that over three-quarters of BBB voters think that provincial governments should have the ability to implement policies separate from the national government, compared to 58 percent among all voters.

Last week’s electoral victory would mean that the BBB, as the largest party in the Senate, will have significant clout in lawmaking. The BBB chairman, Erik Stegink, maintained that the government’s environmentalist agenda, particularly its plans to purchase and shut down farms, must be ditched, stating that “2030 must be off the table and expropriation is also not an option,” alluding to the ruling coalition’s pro-EU plans to halve nitrogen emissions by 2030. Notably, the BBB announced that it will not implement any anti-farmer laws in regional governments.




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