The Dutch have to reduce excessive nitrogen levels caused by years of intensive farming. This problem has led to the courts blocking important building projects until this issue is resolved.
The dissatisfaction with the government’s plans to solve the problem up to now led to a significant defeat for Mark Rutte’s coalition at regional elections in March.
The buyout of farms is seen as a key step in a comprehensive solution to the problem.
The Netherlands has set aside money in the scheme approved by the executive body of the European Union on Tuesday to compensate farmers who close their farms near nature reserves.
In a statement applauding the aid, the Commission stated that the plans would have “positive impacts that will outweigh potential distortions of competition and commerce in the EU.”
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