Fluctuating Position on Restoration Regulation: Finland’s Concerns and the Role of Flexibilities in European Decision-Making

Finland’s position in the EU amazes Eveliina Heinäluoma – it’s time to make a decision

The restoration regulation has been a contentious issue in Finland, with their position on it fluctuating. Initially, they voted against the proposal, then abstained from voting, and now their position is “no” again. Member of Parliament Eveliina Heinäluoma questions the Finnish government’s handling of this issue, especially as they are now planning to tighten their position on the regulation.

The restoration regulation aims to impose binding obligations to improve the state of nature in various habitats, sparking intense debate in Finland. Despite Finland’s initial opposition to the proposal last summer, the regulation narrowly passed the Council of Member States. Subsequently, a political agreement was reached in November, adding flexibilities to the regulation to lower costs and give member countries more control over restoration efforts.

In a surprising turn of events, Hungary changed its vote from a yes to a no in the second round of voting on the regulation. Currently, the EU presidency is trying to secure enough votes to pass the regulation, but Finland has decided to maintain its position against it. Minister of the Environment Kai Mykkänen views the situation as “unsatisfactory” and emphasizes the need for consistency in EU decision-making.

Heinäluoma believes that Finland should have supported the amended version of the regulation, given the flexibilities included in the trilogy negotiations. Drawing parallels to past directives, Heinäluoma stresses the importance of promoting environmental initiatives for long-term benefits.

Finally, he calls for consistency in Finland’s stance on the restoration regulation to align with their commitment to green transitions. Overall, it seems that Finland’s stance on this issue is not yet set in stone and may continue to evolve based on further discussions and negotiations within Europe.

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