Summarised by Centrist
Writer David Thunder says recent massive protests by farmers across the European Union have ratted European elites. The protests have significantly disrupted transportation networks, expressing widespread dissatisfaction with strict environmental regulations and bureaucratic hurdles tied to EU and national agricultural policies.
Originating with Dutch farmers in 2019, the movement has since spread EU-wide, with major highways and ports blocked, and government buildings targeted.
The European Commission says they still aim at reducing emissions by 90% in Europe by 2040, but have removed any mention of the farming sector’s contribution to that goal.
Thunder says, “It is clearly politically expedient, especially in an election year, to put out this fire of farming discontent as soon as possible, and buy some peace ahead of June’s European elections. But there is no avoiding the fact that the Commission’s long-term environmental goals, as currently conceived, almost certainly require sacrifices that farmers are simply not willing to accept.”
Two things are clear: the environmentalists and politicians underestimated the backlash to emission reduction plans and a precedent has now been set by EU-wide protests, which will not go unnoticed by future carbon tax protesters.