Giacomo Fracassi

EU nature law risks DOA after EPP walks out of negotiations


The centre-right European People’s Party walked out of negotiations on Wednesday with the rest of the European Parliament over a proposed nature law that has already sparked controversy and has been rejected by two parliament committees before full assembly vote in July.

The biggest group of the Parliament decided to walk over the perception that its concerns on the proposal were not addressed in the debate. The EPP is calling to outright reject the nature law. MEP Christine Schneider said in a statement that “The law was poorly drafted in the first place and is an attack on European agriculture, forestry and fisheries.”

The proposal calls for EU member states to work to dedicate 20% of their land and sea to nature restoration projects in order to help cope with floods and drought, plus address the decline in animals and plants species in European ecosystems.

Some governments and farming group have vocally expressed their concerns over the law. They fear excessive red tape that could impact farmers. In addition, EU member states are negotiating some amendments, including exemptions to build wind farms in nature areas.

The EU is facing backlash for the proposal also from governments, with Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo questioning the need for the nature law. French President Emmanuel Macron was even more radical, talking about halting new EU environment legislation.

The proposed nature law to become effective will have to be approved by both the European Parliament and the EU countries.

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