Drenthe is not waiting for money from The Hague to start working on the nitrogen approach. She has already spent 3.6 million euros to recruit a team of experts. It concerns a team of about 20 to 30 employees.

    “In a time of staff shortages,” says provincial administrator Nelleke Vedelaar. “So you have to show that you are a good employer. These people are now very popular.” But the province has managed to put together a team. Incidentally, that 3.6 million was not only spent on the team, but a part was also spent on processes, among other things.

    That team will, among other things, talk to farmers, but will mainly work on all nitrogen plans. There is a deadline waiting. Before 1 July 2023, all provinces must come up with plans to reduce nitrogen.

    Drenthe spent this money bearing in mind that The Hague will compensate for this. “We have some confidence in that,” says Vedelaar. But it is still not clear how the cabinet will compensate the provinces for the wage and implementation costs to arrive at the nitrogen plans. Drenthe does not wait for that and already spends the money.

    “It is already clear that we will be reimbursed 1.2 million euros,” says Vedelaar. So a third. Should the rest fail to materialize, the nitrogen team will not have to worry about their job after all. The province can take care of this.

    Vedelaar also thinks it’s normal to start now. “Sorry farmers”, she outlines the scenario if the province did wait for compensation before spending money. “The Hague has still not crossed the line with compensation, so we are not talking to you yet.” And that scenario, says Vedelaar: “We don’t do that.”