News - August 9, 2018

Prime Minister Rutte to open academic year

Albert Sikkema

Prime Minister Mark Rutte will give a speech during the opening of the academic year of Wageningen University on 3 September. Phil Hogan, EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, will also take the floor.


Rutte has visited WUR before, but not in his function as prime minister of the Netherlands. In 2014, he came to Wageningen as the leader of the VVD to support his party during the municipal elections. At that time, he answered questions from Wageningen students during a sort of ‘Lecture Tour’ in Orion.

It is not yet known what subjects Rutte will address in his speech during the opening of the academic year. Rutte knows Wageningen well, also from meetings abroad. This year, he met WUR delegations while on trade missions to China and India. The Prime Minister holds Wageningen in high esteem: ‘Wageningen is very much looked up to’, he said during his visit in 2014.

Smarter agriculture
EU Commissioner Phil Hogan visited Wageningen two years ago to discuss the European agricultural policy with President of the Executive Board Louise Fresco. ‘Agriculture must become smarter and greener, in order for the sector to contribute to the ambitious climate and sustainability goals of the EU’, he told Resource during his last visit.

Hogan regularly seeks advice from WUR when drawing up his innovation agenda. He was also positive about Krijn Poppe and Louise Fresco’s plea for a European food policy, which they held during the Mansholt lecture in Brussels in 2016.