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

EU Environment Ministers Discuss the Threat to Nature Restoration Regulation as Hungary’s Stance Changes

EU Environment Ministers have been discussing the uncertainty surrounding the fate of the Nature Restoration Regulation, which aims to improve the state of nature in various habitats across the European Union. Finland’s Environment Minister, Kai Mykkänen, expressed dissatisfaction with recent developments concerning the regulation, particularly regarding Hungary’s change of stance.

Finland initially opposed the proposal last summer but later abstained from voting after tripartite negotiations added flexibilities to the regulation. However, Mykkänen has raised concerns about the interpretation of the impairment ban and forestry limitations, as well as the level of obligations to restore widely occurring habitat types.

Despite these challenges, Mykkänen emphasized that trust in EU decision-making processes should be upheld, especially after reaching a trilogy agreement. He expressed disappointment in the current situation of last-minute surprises and called for transparency and operational reliability in the EU decision-making process.

The Council of Member States is currently reviewing Hungary’s change of stance on the regulation, which could jeopardize its approval. The restoration regulation aims to cover a significant portion of Europe’s land and sea areas by 2030 and all ecosystems in need of restoration by 2050. This includes marshes, wetlands, meadows, waterways, forests, agricultural environments, and cities.

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