Hoekstra adds context to controversial nitrogen comments
Foreign Affairs Minister Wopke Hoekstra on Friday clarified his earlier comments in an AD article about the government's nitrogen emissions policy. The comments were controversial because they strayed from the Cabinet consensus.
In the AD interview, Hoekstra had stated that he did not consider the government's nitrogen goals as something sacred. However, in a Twitter thread, he said he fully saw the necessity of halving nitrogen emissions "as quickly as possible."
Hoekstra also said that farmers should have been asked much sooner what they needed in order to halve emissions. "National politics talks way too much about people, instead of with people," he tweeted.
He added that it was only possible to achieve the nitrogen goals together and called for more focus on people who were trying to do things right, instead of the "screamers."
Hoekstra emphasized earlier that he was speaking to the AD as CDA party leader. This is because members the Cabinet is expected to speak with one voice. Nature and Nitrogen Minister Christianne van der Wal called his comments "unfortunate" because Johan Remkes is still attempting to mediate talks between farmers and the government.