According to BNR well-informed sources, the talks about the agricultural agreement have collapsed. In the coming weeks, all parties will be allowed to have their say once more in so-called ‘confessional sessions’.
Despite weeks of talks on important topics such as manure, agricultural land use and pesticides, the parties are still said to be diametrically opposed.
According to sources from The Hague, after the last two intensive talks, the joint talks will end on Tuesday afternoon. The plan is that all parties will have their say once more with chairman Chris Kalden. According to one person involved, these will be called ‘confessional sessions’, a tactic that was also used by nitrogen mediator Johan Remkes during the last formation to force a breakthrough.
Agree not definitively in the water
However, the talks have not finally broken down, emphasizes political reporter Mats Akkerman. ‘That is not the case. There will now be individual talks, so that doesn’t mean it failed.’ However, it is demanded that there is movement in the talks. “Otherwise they won’t get anywhere.” Inquiries with some parties at the agricultural table say that the talks are ‘going smoothly’.
The fact that the negotiations are difficult can also be explained by the enormous laundry list of subjects. For example, the fertilizer policy, the use of agricultural land, crop protection and the role of chain parties are discussed. ‘Of course it is also about the nitrogen policy and the infamous year in which the targets must be achieved.’
Stronger negotiating position
Discussion about the year 2030 or 2035 is also becoming more difficult because of the victory of the BoerBurgerBeweging (BBB) in the Provincial Council elections. ‘As a result, the farmers’ clubs think they have a stronger negotiating position. Sjaak van der Tak of LTO Netherlands, for example, wants the nitrogen policy to be drastically overhauled and that the year 2030 should be put in the ‘trash can’, Akkerman quotes. LTO demands that there is clarity about the agricultural agreement before 8 May.
About thirty parties are participating in the consultations on the agricultural agreement. Earlier, the farmers’ action group Agractie already left the consultation due to dissatisfaction with parts of the plan. ‘Farmers are crushed in this plan. Permanent restrictions are imposed on land use, without a revenue model in return,’ said foreman Bart Kemp at the time.