Nature’s Restoration at Risk in Europe: Finnish Environment Minister Kai Mykkänen Expresses Disappointment

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

Environment Minister Kai Mykkänen has expressed dissatisfaction with the unexpected challenges that have emerged in the final stages of the legislative process, particularly regarding the Nature Restoration Regulation in the European Union. The regulation aimed to establish 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.

Despite initial opposition from Finland last summer, the regulation 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.

Minister Mykkänen emphasized that trust in EU decision-making processes should be upheld after reaching a trilogy agreement. Despite this, Finland 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.

The uncertainty surrounding the fate of the restoration regulation has prompted discussions among EU environment ministers. Mykkänen highlighted the need for transparency and operational reliability in EU decision-making processes while expressing disappointment over last-minute surprises.

In conclusion, Environment Minister Kai Mykkänen has expressed dissatisfaction with recent developments concerning the Nature Restoration Regulation in Europe due to concerns about its interpretation and level of obligations for habitat restoration. Despite these concerns, Finland maintains its consistent stance on restoring nature in various habitats across Europe by 2030 and 2050 through binding obligations under EU legislation.

Leave a Reply