Finland’s Frustration with EU’s Nature Restoration Regulation: A Call for Transparency and Reliability in Decision-Making

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

The European Union’s Nature Restoration Regulation has faced opposition from Finland, with Environment Minister Kai Mykkänen expressing dissatisfaction with the surprises that have arisen in the final stages of the legislative process. The regulation aims to improve the state of nature in various habitats across the EU, covering a significant portion of its 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.

Finland initially opposed the proposal last summer but it narrowly passed the Council of Member States. Following tripartite negotiations where various flexibilities were added to the regulation, Finland abstained from voting in November. However, recent developments have seen Hungary change its stance on the regulation, jeopardizing its approval. Despite these challenges, Mykkänen emphasized that trust in EU decision-making processes should be upheld, especially after reaching a trilogy agreement.

Finland has raised concerns about the interpretation of the impairment ban particularly regarding forestry limitations as well as the level of obligations to restore widely occurring habitat types. Mykkänen highlighted that transparency and operational reliability are needed in EU decision-making process and expressed disappointment at current situation of last-minute surprises. The uncertainty surrounding the fate of the restoration regulation has prompted discussions among EU environment ministers with Finland maintaining its consistent stance on this matter.

Mykkänen expressed his disappointment at recent developments surrounding Europe’s Nature Restoration Regulation and called for greater transparency and operational reliability in EU decision-making processes. He emphasized that Finland will continue to work towards finding a solution that upholds environmental protection while respecting economic considerations and local communities’ needs.

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