Will the Flemish government also miss second deadline to reach final nitrogen agreement?

Since 18:30 on Sunday, the core of the Flemish government has been meeting again in the hope of reaching an agreement on nitrogen. Flemish minister-president Jan Jambon (N-VA) had hoped to have an agreement on nitrogen on the table this week, but that deal still seems a long way off.

Although the N-VA came up with a 'de-blocking proposal' to convince the CD&V, the party interpreted this as misleading. It, therefore, looks as if minister-president Jambon will miss his self-imposed deadline for a second time. If that will be the case, the Flemish government risks being plunged into another deep crisis.

One of the immediate consequences of the lack of agreement is that the existing ministerial instruction of Environment minister Zuhal Demir (N-VA) - introduced after the much-discussed nitrogen ruling of February 2021 - remains in force. This instruction makes obtaining permits for livestock farming very difficult and offers no prospect of eliminating the difference in permit thresholds between industry and agriculture.

Common Agricultural Policy

Meanwhile, the liberal party Open VLD favours decoupling the nitrogen debate from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). ​ For weeks, the European farm subsidy dossier has been linked to the nitrogen debate. "Farmers need these funds," said Flemish Deputy minister-president Bart Somers (Open VLD).

"For 2023 alone, we are talking about 300 million euros of urgently needed support. We must not leave farmers in the dark. Let us judge this dossier on its own merits. Spring is coming, farmers want certainty now." Somers refers to the crop plans farmers are currently working on.


#FlandersNewsService | Flemish Minister President Jan Jambon pictured during a plenary session of the Flemish Parliament in Brussels, Wednesday 01 March 2023. ​




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