Brussels, 22/03/2024 – the European Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration (SER-Europe), a dynamic network of 550 scientists and practitioners across Europe is deeply disappointed by the failure of EU Member States to find a majority to adopt the already agreed text of a Regulation on Nature Restoration (Nature Restoration Law, NRL) for a vote at European Council. The Member States ambassadors at Coreper today were unable to seal the deal and so derailed the process at the last minute. This disappointing turn of events was caused by several Member States failing to take into account scientific evidence and public interest, or just faltering under pressure related to the coming elections. 

The NRL is intended to combat climate change and protect biodiversity, both of which are essential for the economy and well-being of Europeans, perhaps most so for farmers. “With this regretful failure, politicians are shooting at the feet of all of us, no matter rural or urban” said Kris Decleer, Head of Policy of the Society for Ecological Restoration Europe. We have seen in recent months and weeks worrying trends in the EU. From politicians ignoring facts and scientific advice, to unacceptable meekness under the pressure of vested interests of the agro-industry. SERE’s Legal Working Group has on numerous occasions debunked false claims and misinformation. Despite all evidence, several member states have clearly ignored the interests of their citizens and we even saw top-level politicians acting contrary to EU democratic rules and exposing their weaknesses to the public ahead of elections.

Despite this regretful decision, as a dedicated advocate for environmental conservation and restoration, SERE remains determined to push the EU to act on its commitments and duty to ensure safe and healthy living conditions for its citizens by protecting and restoring its ecosystems.