Minister Staghouwer resigns, Schouten takes over – News Politics

Minister Staghouwer resigns, Schouten takes over – News Politics
Minister Staghouwer resigns, Schouten takes over – News Politics

Province of Groningen

News Politics

Yesterday 7:47 pm – Editorial Farming Business 9 comments

Henk Staghouwer, Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV), resigns. This has been announced by the Government Information Service. A reason was not mentioned, but according to insiders, he felt too little confidence in the House of Representatives in his actions in tackling the nitrogen problem. Carola Schouten, Staghouwer’s predecessor, is provisionally acting Minister of LNV.

Incidentally, this was not Staghouwer’s file, but that of colleague minister Christianne van der Wal (Nature & Nitrogen). She has to solve the problem, Staghouwer has to develop new and promising policy. Last week on an Agrifirm day, he already hinted that this was not going to be easy for him, while he still had to confront a very critical House of Representatives in advance. He also had to inform the House of Representatives on Monday that his attempts to extend the derogation of the nitrate/manure policy after 2025 are no longer possible.

Not the person for this job
Staghouwer said in a brief explanation on Monday evening that he saw himself faced with very large tasks. ,,I started to ask myself: am I the right person for this job? Last weekend I came to the conclusion that I am not that person. That is why I am stepping down as Minister of Agriculture.” Staghouwer’s duties will be taken over for the time being by Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Carola Schouten of Poverty Policy, Participation and Pensions. She was Minister of LNV in the previous Rutte cabinet.

In an initial response on social media, LTO Nederland announced that it had “respectfully taken note of Henk Staghouwer’s decision to resign as Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality.” In view of the important files in our sector, it is crucial that a new minister is appointed quickly, LTO reports. Prime Minister Mark Rutte also says: “Much appreciation for the work Henk Staghouwer has done as Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. I respect his brave decision to resign from his duties and wish him every success in the future.” Jesse Klaver, the party leader of GroenLinks in the House of Representatives, says that Staghouwer’s departure “completes the chaos in the nitrogen dossier.” Tomorrow, Klaver says, together with PvdA colleague Attje Kuiken, that he wants an explanation from Prime Minister Rutte about “what this means for the agricultural transition and the perspective for farmers.”

Totally not suitable as a minister
Caroline van de Plas, the leader of BoerBurgerBeweging (BBB) ​​is not blunt in an initial reaction. According to her, Staghouwer’s resignation was inevitable. “I think it is very bad for the person Henk Staghouwer. This does something to you as a person. I wish him the best of luck. But as Minister of Agriculture he was not suitable at all.” Then Van der Plas asks a pertinent question: “The question now is: Who does?” Basically, the successor – just like Staghouwer – must come from the ChristenUnie and he or she inherits a very heavy portfolio and also ends up in the middle of a heated nitrogen discussion, where the report of discussion leader Johan Remkes is now awaited.

Carola Schouten’s return as agriculture minister seems obvious, because as a participant in the current cabinet, she is fully aware of the nitrogen dossier and the policy dossiers on agriculture. However, there is little chance that she herself aspires to return to this post – under her rule there were major agricultural protests on the Malieveld, among others. It is up to Gert-Jan Segers, the party leader of the ChristenUnie, to find a political heavyweight for this post.

Carola Schouten (photo: Martijn Beekman)

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