The EU introduces new nature protection rules. What does the Polish government say about this?

Luc Williams

Most EU countries supported the adoption of new regulations. They were against it Italy, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Finland and Sweden, but this was not enough to block their entry into force. Belgium abstained.

Doubts raised by Poland

Minister of Climate and Environment Paulina Hennig-Kloska she said at the ministerial meeting that Poland cannot support the new regulations, among others. because they introduce excessive administrative burdens and they lack a “long-term financial plan”.

Natura 2000 among EU priorities

The agreement binds the member states for reconstruction by 2030 at least 30 percent natural habitats (from forests, meadows and wetlands to rivers and lakes) from poor to good condition, at least 60%. by 2040 and 90 percent by 2050.

EU countries should give priority Natura 2000 areas. Member States will also have to adopt national recovery plans, detailing how they intend to achieve these goals. They must also reproduce at least 30 percent. drained peat bogs by 2030, 40 percent by 2040 and 50 percent by 2050.

However, food production takes priority

The new law provides emergency brakethanks to which agricultural ecosystem goals may be suspended in exceptional circumstances where enforcement is at serious risk reducing the land area needed for food production.

“There is no time to pause in protecting our environment. (…) It is our duty to respond to the urgent need for the collapse of biodiversity in Europe, but also to enable the European Union to fulfill its international obligations. The European delegation will be able to go to the next COP with head held high,” said Alain Maron, Belgian Minister for Climate Transformation and the Environment, on Monday.

Mandatory reports to the European Commission

Under the new rules, member states must submit national nature restoration plans to the European Commission, showing how they will achieve their goals. They must also monitor and report their progress against EU-wide biodiversity indicators.

The regulation will enter into force after publication in the Official Journal of the EU. By 2033, the EC will review its application and its impact on the agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors, as well as its wider socio-economic impacts.

Frictions in the European Parliament

The project sparked controversy this year European Parliament. Some political groups emphasized that it would be harmful to farmers. The European People's Party, European Conservatives and Reformists and the far-right group Identity and Democracy spoke against the regulations.

The new regulations were supported by Socialists and Democrats, Greens and the Renew Democracy group. MEPs from these parties argued that this law was necessary to rebuild the EU's nature. After weeks of intense disputes, the process of new regulations could not be stopped. Ultimately, the project was entered into negotiations with the Council (member states), and the talks ended with the signing of an agreement. According to the Council, over 80 percent European habitats are in poor condition.

Łukasz Osiński from Brussels


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