The European Commission’s proposal for a new Nature Restoration Law presented in June 2022 is currently under the voting procedure by the European Parliament that is expected to finalize its position. This is the first attempt in 30 years to formulate a legal framework for nature protection and the first attempt in the history of the EU for a legal framework for nature restoration. The overarching objective set by the law is that nature restoration measures should cover at least 20% of EU land and sea areas by 2030 and extend to all ecosystems in need of restoration by 2050.
This is an important moment for the EU’s legislation on the environment, overshadowed, however, by the reactions of the European People’s Party, which decided to reject the European Commission’s proposal. Given that Greece has recently adopted, at national level, binding targets for the protection and restoration of nature that are to a large extent in line with those of the proposed Regulation, questions were raised about the position of the Greek MEPs in the formation of the position of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee. Following this development, the Green Tank sent a letter to the Greek representatives in the European Parliament calling them to vote in favour of the adoption of the Commission’s proposal. The letter notes Greece’s comparative advantages, but also the benefits of the adoption of the Regulation among other, for the mitigation and adaptation to the climate crisis and for achieving the objectives of both the European and the National Climate Law, while relevant resources and technical assistance will be ensured.
Ahead of the crucial vote on Thursday 15 June 2023, Ioli Christopoulou made a statement to journalist Machie Tratsa about her detailed article titled “Environment: crucial vote today in the EU on the Nature Restoration Law” published in Oikonomikos Tachydromos:
“In March, Greece became the first Member State to adopt by law most of the targets set by the new Nature Restoration Law as binding. Greek MEPs, regardless of the objections of the European People’s Party, should at least align with the country’s policy and vote in favour of the Regulation. This will pave the way for access to the European resources that are necessary for the effective support of nature”.
Among the full members of the Environment Committee, MEPs Petros Kokkalis, The Left, and Nikos Papandreou, S&D, voted in favour of the Regulation. Maria Spyraki, EPP and Emmanuel Fragos, ECR – MEPs belonging to the two political groups opposing the Regulation – did not participate in the vote.
You can read Green Tank’s letter to the Greek MEPs here (in Greek).
The full article by Machie Tratsa including the statement by Ioli Christopoulou was published on Thursday 15 June 2023 and it is available at ot.gr (in Greek).