MEP Mick Wallace welcomes EU Council agreement on the nature restoration law

Today the Council reached an agreement (general approach) on a proposal for a nature restoration law. The proposal aims to put in place recovery measures that will cover at least 20 % of the EU’s land and 20 % sea areas by 2030, and all ecosystems in need of restoration by 2050. It sets specific legally binding targets and obligations for nature restoration in each of the listed ecosystems – from agricultural land and forest to marine, freshwater and urban ecosystems.

The general approach will serve as a mandate for negotiations with the European Parliament on the final shape of the legislation. 

For more info on the detail of the Council’s position see here:

MEP for Ireland South, Mick Wallace, welcomed the Council’s General Approach. 

Mr Wallace said:

I welcome the Council’s text.  It’s truly amazing to see that the Council, which represents all the national governments in the EU, can agree on a what is a pretty good position on the nature restoration law. The fact the Member States can reach this agreed position collectively without any major problems totally exposes the right-wing in the European Parliament for being hell-bent on sabotaging the whole law for no good reason.  Fine Gael’s EPP group’s stance is not based on any rational engagement with the substance of the Commission’s proposal.  They walked out on negotiations and have engaged in a campaign of blatant disinformation against the law.  Their opposition to the law is a political one.  The have shown zero interest in constructive engagement. 

Instead of seeking a common position to deal with concerns, their highest ranks coordinated an intense campaign to kill the law outright. They have put all their energy into rejecting this law, and nothing into improving it. Meanwhile, the Council agrees collectively on a position without such structural opposition.

There is still hope for the nature restoration law in plenary, despite it being severely damaged last week in the European Parliament’s Environment Committee, where a block of conservative members voted for full-on deletions of the text.

Political parties within the EPP group must resist getting sucked into the anti-nature death-trap. Each vote will be watched in plenary, including the votes that weaken the law”

Mick Wallace is the LEFT group in the Parliament’s shadow rapporteur for the Nature Restoration Law.  That means he is one of the lead negotiators of the regulation, one of just 7 MEPs in the European Parliament responsible for negotiating the Parliament’s mandate before inter-institutional negotiations with the Council.   He is a member of the Parliament’s Environment and Public Health Committee, and is one of just 2 Irish MEPs who have a vote on the Nature Restoration Law on the ENVI Committee.

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