Tractors Take Brussels: Farmers Rally Against EU Policies

Written by Camilla Jessen

Feb.26 - 2024 2:45 PM CET

Photo: Alexandros Michailidis /
Photo: Alexandros Michailidis /
Hundreds of farmers stormed Brussels with tractors, clashing with police as they protested EU agricultural policies and the European Green Deal.

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Hundreds of tractors took over the streets of Brussels' European quarter, where the EU institutions are based, as farmers expressed their frustration on the same day EU agriculture ministers were meeting.

Belgian media outlets, including RTBF and Le Soir, covered the event, noting that the farmers' arrival in Brussels coincided with the EU Council of Agriculture Ministers meeting starting at 10:00 am.

The farmers' journey to Brussels caused significant traffic disruptions, affecting both the main routes into the capital and the city center.

Their protest centers on dissatisfaction with the European Commission's lack of specific responses to their demands and opposition to the European Green Deal's environmental regulations.

The situation escalated with police setting up defenses near EU buildings and resorting to water cannons as protesters ignited tire fires and dismantled police barriers. Some farmers even managed to penetrate the police lines using their tractors.

Fires were reported in the vicinity of Schumann Square, surrounded by EU buildings, with protesters spreading manure and hay across the European Quarter.

This demonstration follows a previous protest on February 1, where farmers rallied for additional support during an EU summit.

Poland has indicated it will call for amendments to the Green Deal at the EU, aligning with the farmers' demands.