Nature Restoration: Scientists dispel EPP’s allegations

Ahead of the crucial vote in the plenary of the European Parliament on the European Regulation for Nature Restoration (11-12/07/2023), Ioli Christopoulou spoke to the journalist Machie Tratsa about the joint letter of more than 6000 scientists who support the Regulation and respond to the allegations of the European People’s Party. The focus was on the EPP’s false claim that the nature restoration measures provisioned in the Regulation will harm agricultural production. Ioli Christopoulou who co-signed the joint letter as The Green Tank’s policy director, explained how scientific data disprove this allegation. Specifically,

“measures such as the creation of hedges at field edges increase the pollinator populations, bees and other insects on which more than 80% of crops depend. They also reduce erosion, improve soil quality and naturally control pests […] At the same time, it increases the resilience of agricultural ecosystems already affected by the impacts of the climate crisis. In order to address any socio-economic consequences resulting from the implementation of such measures, European resources must be ensured to enable farmers to adapt and participate in the transition to more sustainable agricultural practices. This is an additional reason for adopting the Regulation.”

At policy-making level, these measures contribute to the objectives of the European Green Deal and are in line with the national policy of Greece, which was the first country in the EU-27 to adopt legally binding nature targets as early as March 2023 and voted in favour of the Regulation at the recent Council of Environment Ministers. As Ioli Christopoulou commented:

“With its methods the European People’s Party threatens to torpedo not only the adoption of necessary measures for the conservation and restoration of nature, but also the entire European Green Agreement and the leading position of the European Union in international environmental policy. In plenary, the MEPs representing our country will be called upon to take a stand. A positive vote is required that will defend nature and with it the local communities of Greece and Europe. This is also in line with the legally binding national nature objectives and the position Greece has taken in the Council.”

The article by Machie Tratsa including the statements by Ioli Christopoulou was published on July 10, 2023, one day before the start of the crucial session in the plenary of the European Parliament. The full news report, available at, presents the background to the drafting and voting procedure of the Regulation.