One of the final points of discussion was the scope of the Nature Restoration Act. It has now been agreed that priority will be given to the already protected Natura 2000 areas until 2030.
The political agreement must now be formally approved by the European Parliament and the 27 Member States. Normally something like this is a formality, but the nature restoration law was previously very controversial, both in the hemisphere and in the European capitals.
The controversial law caused heated debates between European countries shortly before the summer. In Belgium, Flemish Environment Minister Zuhal Demir (N-VA) demanded adjustments because, according to her, too little account was taken of a densely populated region such as Flanders.
The European People’s Party (EPP) led the resistance in the European Parliament. The party says it is satisfied with the improvements made in the agreement on the nature restoration law compared to the European Commission’s original proposal, but does not yet promise approval. Before the Environment Committee and subsequently the European Parliament’s plenary session vote on the text, the largest group in the hemisphere wants to study the agreement in detail.
However, the EPP sees several improvements to the Commission proposal. For example, there is no longer a requirement to fill at least 10 percent of agricultural land in Europe with ‘landscape elements with a high diversity value’, which, according to Schneider, would have significantly reduced the agricultural area and increased inflation. The fact that the deterioration ban for ecosystems in good condition is linked to an obligation of effort, and not an obligation of result, can also count on her approval.