The Netherlands should obtain the right to opt out of all EU policies surrounding the bloc's green agenda, the country's farmer party has said. (Photo by Jeroen Meuwsen/BSR Agency/Getty Images)


Netherlands should have right to opt out of EU ‘green’ agenda, farmers’ party says


The Netherlands should obtain the right to opt out of all European Union policies regarding the bloc’s “green” agenda, the country’s farmers’ party has said.

Published recently, the draft manifesto of the BoerBurgerBeweging (BBB) calls on Dutch officials to wrestle-back control of climate and migration legislation from Brussels.

The BBB also wants “an opt-out in the field of migration and nature policy” at the EU level, attacking current immigration legislation as being out of date and the EU’s environmental rules as being damaging to the country’s farming sector.

It has reiterated its demands that the country’s controversial nitrogen law must be mothballed. The proposed rejection of the rules surrounding the pollutant having been the main driver of the party’s popularity. Put in place to appease green demands made by Brussels, the legislation demands the shutting down of numerous livestock farms in the country, angering many in the country’s agricultural sector.

“The current Nitrogen Act must be scrapped … as soon as possible,” the BBB document reads, advocating instead for new regulations focusing on farmer-friendly nature restoration.

Having romped to victory in the country’s local elections earlier in 2023, the BBB has since seen its popularity dwindle in the face of new rising stars.

The September election manifesto appears to be a return to populist form for the party.

Apart from targeting the EU on immigration and green rules, the BBB is advocating for an increase in recognition of the Netherlands’ prominent agricultural sector.

“The Dutch delta is important for Europe’s food supply and therefore deserves specific legislation that takes into account the needs of the delta,” the party writes.

It also wants to push for the acceptance of manure-based fertilisers over artificial crop feeds.

“Animal manure must be accepted as a growth promoter and raw material instead of as waste,” the party’s manifesto says, describing animal excrement as being “better for the soil, and reduces CO2 emissions associated with fertiliser production”.

The manifesto must now be approved by the party membership at a general meeting on September 23.