Nature Restoration Law Passes Final Hurdle in Parliament, Now Set to Become Law

(updated 13.31 CET; 23.53 on 29/02/24 to add roll call information at end of article)

The Nature Restoration Law has passed the final stage of approval in the European Parliament. 

The new law sets a target for the EU to restore at least 20% of the EU’s land and sea areas by 2030 and all ecosystems in need of restoration by 2050. Article 9 – the agricultural ecosystems article – is retained. 

The law was in pearl due to a set of amendments proposed by the ECR and ID (Europskeptic and far-right) groups in the Parliament.

The vote on reading these amendments was rejected, as was the standalone vote on rejecting the NRL outright. The vote to provisionally agree the NRL was passed 329 in favour with  275 against.

The law now goes to EU member states who will approve at Council, and then be in charge of implementing the law, As EU member states have already approved it to adopt a position at trilogue, this is seen as a formality. 

voting on the NRL today 27/02/24

Quick Analysis

It is almost unheard of for amendments to be proposed at this late stage in the legislative process, but this has been an especially contentious file. Uncertainty mounted when the largest group in the European Parliament, the centre-right EPP, announced it was voting against the Law. However the groups internal meeting Monday evening saw many MEPS argue for a free vote, which transpired in Plenary. As an example of this internal EPP division, every Irish EPP MEP came out in favour of the NRL 

These unusual maneuvers occurred against a backdrop of varied farmer protests and a concurrent rollback of various elements of the Green Deal and CAP.

How MEPs voted – all Roll call results

Rebel EPPs who voted against the rejection: Arimont, Bilčík,  Casa,  Clune,  Coelho,  Fernandes,  Fitzgerald, Geuking,  Haga, Kanev, Karas, Kelly, Kemp,  Lutgen, Markey, Mažylis,  Niedermayer, Pereira  Lídia, Pietikäinen, Polčák, Pospíšil,  Rangel, Šojdrová, Vaidere, Virkkunen, Walsh, Weiss, Wiseler-Lima.

Read/download the agreed NRL text  


Landmark EU Nature Restoration Law on the Homestretch

Nature Restoration Law Emerges from Trilogue – What’s Changed?