MEPs from the Agri committee in the European Parliament have voted for complete rejection of the Nature Restoration Law (NRL). The vote was by a 2/3 majority – 30 for the rejection vs 16 against, with no abstentions. So what’s next?
MEPs from the Agri committee in the European Parliament have voted for complete rejection of the Nature Restoration Law (NRL). The vote was by a 2/3 majority – 30 for the rejection vs 16 against, with no abstentions.
While this vote acts as a strong signal to the electorate, with 2024 elections in mind, the impact of this vote may be minimal. The NRL is led by the Environment (ENVI) Committee. By voting to outright reject the NRL, the role the Agri Committee will play in the rest of the progress of this file will be more limited than it otherwise would have been.
One insider close to the file said “It’s a strong signal before elections but effectively excludes them from a nuanced opinion to find a compromise. They have excluded themselves from being listened to” pointing to the role the attendance of the agri rapporteur Anne Sander would have had at Trilogues as an example.
On twitter a Green negotiator expressed dismay at weeks of compromise and negotiations before outright rejection of the NRL.
Meanwhile another MEP who voted to reject the NRL were calling on the Commission to start again.
The European Environmental Bureau, representing 180 member organisations in 40 countries, expressed dismay at the vote: “With this opinion, the bulk of Members of Parliament is letting down their own constituency of farmers, who are facing the unprecedented impact of the collapse of our ecosystems and climate change. Once again, they chose to ignore all scientific evidence showing that if we want to ensure food security in the long run, we need to restore nature.
For months anti-nature lobbies have been leading a disinformation campaign. Today, this was extremely visible in the discussions and the outcome of the vote was not surprising. Instead of offering solutions to devastating floods and droughts that threaten farmers’ livelihoods and long-term food security, the AGRI Committee turned a blind eye to farmers’ problems.”
How did MEPs vote
Below you can see how each MEP voted. The Greens, one Left, nine S&D and one non-aligned voted against rejecting the NRL. The majority of MEPs – from ECR, ID, EPP, Renew and one Left – voted to reject the Commission’s NRL outright.
It is noteworthy that MEPs from the Liberal group – where former Commissioner Dacian Ciolos is an MEP – all voted against the NRL, in an alliance with the centre-right and parties further to the right. The Socialists and Democrats (S&D group) MEPs all voted for the NRL with the Greens.
The Left group split is itself and interesting one too, with two left Irish MEPs from the same constituency (Connaught-Ulster) voting on opposite sides. Ireland uses a regional and not list system.
The NRL will still progress its way through the Parliament and toward Trilogue. The next vote is in the ENVI Committee on the 15th of June .