• Tue. May 28th, 2024

The fate of the EU’s restoration regulation is uncertain as Hungary heads to the evening milking

Byeditor

Mar 25, 2024

Environment Minister Kai Mykkänen (kok) expressed dissatisfaction with the surprises that have arisen in the final stages of the legislative process, particularly concerning the Nature Restoration Regulation in the European Union. The regulation aimed to introduce binding obligations to improve the state of nature in various habitats, covering a significant portion of the EU’s land and sea areas by 2030 and all ecosystems in need of restoration by 2050. This would include marshes, wetlands, meadows, waterways, forests, agricultural environments, and cities.

Finland initially opposed the proposal last summer but the regulation narrowly passed the Council of Member States. Following tripartite negotiations, where various flexibilities were added to the regulation, Finland abstained from voting in November. However, recent developments have seen Hungary change its stance on the regulation, jeopardizing its approval.

Despite the flexibilities included in the regulation, Finland has raised concerns about the interpretation of the impairment ban, particularly regarding forestry limitations, as well as the level of obligations to restore widely occurring habitat types. Minister Mykkänen emphasized that trust in EU decision-making processes should be upheld, especially after reaching a trilogy agreement.

The uncertainty surrounding the fate of the restoration regulation has prompted discussions among EU environment ministers, with Finland maintaining its consistent stance on the matter. Mykkänen highlighted the need for transparency and operational reliability in the EU decision-making process, expressing disappointment in the current situation of last-minute surprises.

By editor

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