EU Environment Minister Kai Mykkänen’s Disappointment with Flexibilities in Nature Restoration Regulation: Uncertainty Surrounds Final Approval

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

EU Environment Minister Kai Mykkänen (kok) has expressed his dissatisfaction with the recent developments in the legislative process, particularly regarding the Nature Restoration Regulation. The regulation aimed to introduce binding obligations to improve the state of nature in various habitats, covering a significant portion of the EU’s land and sea areas by 2030 and all ecosystems in need of restoration by 2050. This would include 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 the flexibilities included in the regulation, 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 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 that have arisen during the legislative process.

The uncertainty surrounding the fate of the restoration regulation has prompted discussions among EU environment ministers. Mykkänen highlighted

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