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Timmermans says goodbye to Bruxelles. Now he will challenge Dutch farmers

The Vice-President of the Commission resigns to stand as a candidate in the general elections in the Netherlands

The intransigent champion of the European Green Deal, which caused the rift between the Populars and the Socialists, leaves the scene.

The recent troubled political events in the Netherlands have led to a dramatic change that could cause a domino effect across Europe. The Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans has resigned from the office (which he held since 2014) to stand as a candidate in the political elections in his country, scheduled for November 22nd.

The unexpected decision comes at an apical moment for the challenges on the European Green Deal, of which Timmermans was the most convinced and uncompromising champion. On this front, the Dutch socialist won the (Pyrrhic) victory of nature restoration, but was defeated on the "stable slaughter" directive. In this part of the European legislature, Timmermans has strongly supported the halving of pesticides, opposing, on the contrary, assisted evolution techniques. Even behind the stop to heat engines by 2035, there is the direction of the outgoing vice president of the European Commission.

A politician with a more ideological rather than pragmatic approach, Timmermans will stand as a candidate in the early Dutch elections as leader of the Social Democrats (PvdA) and Greens (GroenLinks). A position which essentially designates him as a candidate for prime minister, as an alternative to the outgoing Mark Rutte, for four legislatures (2010-2023) at the head of a centre-right liberal government.

Timmermans, however, will also have to contend with the great "third wheel" of the Dutch elections: Boer Burger Beweging, the "agro-populist" party, representing the interests of Dutch farmers, which made its debut in the provincial elections of last March 15 with a surprising 19%. Precisely with regard to this new political formation - which also tenaciously opposes green policies in the livestock sector - Timmermans had expressed cautious respect and unexpected understanding.

The outgoing vice president of the European Commission could take advantage of campaigning from the opposition in a country governed for 13 years by Rutte and the liberals. The "green" variable, however, could swing the pendulum of electoral favors in one direction or the other. And the cumbersome presence of Timmermans - who has considerably polarized the debate on ecological issues, leading to an epochal rift between the Populars and the Socialists - for better or for worse, could be decisive.

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EFA News - European Food Agency