Flemish government holds 'constructive' talks with farmers

The Flemish government met with representatives of farmers' organisations on Friday morning. Farmers have been protesting all week across Flanders, calling for fewer rules, more legal certainty and better protection for the agricultural sector.

Minister president Jan Jambon, of Flemish nationalists N-VA, described the meeting, which lasted around two hours, as a "constructive conversation" and promised "further consultations" with the sector. Farmers' organisations said they were satisfied with the outcome of the meeting, but called for quick results "so that calm can return".

Before the meeting, Lode Ceyssens, president of farmers' union Boerenbond, said he wanted to focus on "ending the administrative patronage" of farmers in Belgium, as well as ensuring "more legal certainty" and "the protection of farmland".

Maarten Moermans, interim chair of the Groene Kring assoication, expects "a clear signal from the government that things are going to change", while ABS president Hendrik Vandamme demands that the Flemish government put an end to "the acquisition policy whereby forest and nature areas are expanded to the detriment of agriculture".

Issues with nitrogen policy

The organisations are also unhappy with the Flemish nitrogen decree on regulating emissions. According to Environment minister Zuhal Demir of N-VA, this is mainly because there has been uncertainty for years. "It is good that after 20 years we have an agreement backed by science, and that there exists a framework for issuing permits," she said.

Also on Friday, prime minister Alexander De Croo said he felt that Belgian and European politicians had met the agriculture sector halfway and that his government intended to continue working with the sector in the coming weeks. "I think now is the time to give up the blockades," he told Radio 1.


#FlandersNewsService | © BELGA PHOTO HATIM KAGHAT

Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.

About belganewsagency.eu

Belga News Agency delivers dependable, rapid and high-quality information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Belgium and abroad to all Belgian media. The information covers all sectors, from politics, economics and finance to social affairs, sports and culture, not to mention entertainment and lifestyle.

Every day, our journalists and press photographers produce hundreds of photos and news stories, dozens of online information items, plus audio and video bulletins, all in both national languages. Since the end of March 2022 English has been added as a language.

For public institutions, businesses and various organisations that need reliable information, Belga News Agency also offers a comprehensive range of corporate services to meet all their communication needs.


Arduinkaai 29 1000 Brussels