The negotiation process of the EU Nature Restoration Law Proposal: bringing nature back in Europe against the backdrop of political turmoil?

An Cliquet, Alexandra Aragão, Matilde Meertens, Hendrik Schoukens, Kris Decleer

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In 2022, the European Commission proposed an EU Nature Restoration Law (Proposal). This was a groundbreaking proposal and would be the first comprehensive piece of binding international legislation that holds legally binding targets and deadlines for landscape-wide restoration. Although the Proposal initially received very positive reactions from a variety of stakeholders, including scientists, organizations, and companies, certain lobby groups?mainly from the primary sectors (agriculture, forestry, and fisheries)?led a strong campaign against the Proposal, often based on unfounded arguments and short-term considerations. After several nail-biting voting rounds, a political compromise on an amended text was finally reached and awaits final approval. The Compromise still provides an appropriate legal basis for upscaling restoration within the EU through clear targets on restoration for different ecosystems and implementation obligations for Member States. However, we argue that, since the Compromise weakens the Proposal on some vital points regarding the operationalization of restoration at the national level, it remains uncertain whether the final law will produce the tangible effects that are necessary in the coming years.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRestoration Ecology
Issue numbern/a
Pages (from-to)e14158
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17-Apr-2024

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