It would have been close whether the Rutte IV cabinet would have fallen today. To keep the CDA on board – which is diametrically opposed to coalition partner D66 in terms of nitrogen policy – the cabinet has now decided to accelerate.
According to Prime Minister Mark Rutte, the CDA wants to look again at the nitrogen agreements, but not now. For example, it would like to wait with further treatment of the nitrogen dossier as long as the BoerBurgerBeweging (BBB, big winner of the Provincial Council elections, ed.) is still negotiating in the provinces.
By pressing the ‘acceleration button’, the cabinet also wants to ensure that prospects are restored for farmers, that there is a solution for the so-called PAS detectors, ‘but also that there is perspective for nature, roads and housing construction’. said Ruth. PAS reporters are mainly farmers who did not require a permit under the old nitrogen policy, but are still subject to a permit requirement following a ruling by the Council of State in 2019.
Rutte was not concrete. It is also not clear when negotiations will take place again on the nitrogen section of the coalition agreement. That could take a few months. “We’ll see what happens,” said Rutte. Deputy Prime Minister and D66 leader Sigrid Kaag said to have taken note of the CDA’s wish.
‘can’t live anymore’
CDA leader Wopke Hoekstra said that his party ‘can no longer live’ with the nitrogen paragraph in the coalition agreement. The Deputy Prime Minister believes that 2030 as a deadline has actually taken the speed out of the nitrogen approach. “It leads to a lot of discussion,” he said. Hoekstra himself put that debate on the map last August by saying in an interview with AD that 2030 is ‘not sacred’ for his party. The coalition partners were not happy about this.
Earlier today, political reporter Leendert Beekman already spoke of a ‘crisis’. All the more so because the cabinet did not come forward after the Council of Ministers and all journalists were sent away from the Ministry of General Affairs. Rutte also did not give a press conference afterwards, something that normally happens.
It is the third emergency consultation of the cabinet this week, which will most likely focus on how to deal with BBB’s large election gain. Yesterday it also became clear that the European Commission will tolerate ‘no delay’ when it comes to the Dutch approach to the nitrogen problem. This was stated in a letter from the European Commission from European Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius to Minister Christianne van der Wal.