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A yellow traffic light for the green deal?

Жълт светофар за зелената сделка?

Europe's flagship nature restoration law, which is a key part of the Green Deal, continues to be divisive in the European Parliament.

From its inception to today, it has been the subject of public outrage, from last year's carbon pricing drama to Germany's revolt against the 2035 phase-out of internal combustion engines.

The conservative bloc of the European Parliament wants the law to be dropped. However, two committees have already flatly rejected the proposal. This sparked a new wave of farm protests last week in Brussels.

The project's leader, Frans Timmermans, spent three hours last week pleading with lawmakers to support the law, which will face a crucial vote in the environment committee in the middle of this month.

However, the centre-right European People's Party (EPP) decided to withdraw from the talks. The EPP is demanding a new comprehensive impact assessment from the European Commission before approving any legislation.

"We are not against nature restoration, we are against bad legislation and that is why the EPP is ready to reject the Nature Restoration Act as it stands," said Tom Vandenkendelaer, a Belgian MEP from the EPP.

EPP group leader Manfred Weber said the measures would not take into account the economic consequences of the war in Ukraine and that it was putting undue pressure "on our rural communities and our farmers".

Representatives of Copa-Cogeca, which includes leading European farmers and agricultural cooperatives, also asked the European Commission to withdraw the act, arguing that it would reduce areas for agriculture, forestry and horticulture activities.

"We will actually reduce our ability to produce food and be more exposed to imports," Pekka Pesonen, secretary general of Copa-Cogeca, told Euronews on Thursday during a protest outside the European Parliament. "We want to produce food for European citizens and this legislation seriously threatens that goal of our sector," he added.

Representatives of the center-left, the Greens and some liberal MEPs, who want the legislation to be adopted by the end of the year, spoke out in defense of the project.

"For food security, we need ecological, sustainable systems that work for everyone. We are part of nature, we can't think that the nature around us will get sick and we will stay healthy... it doesn't work like that." Sara Wiener, an Austrian MEP from the Greens, told Euronews.

The current Swedish EU Presidency plans to reach a common approach at ministerial level during the Environment Council on 20 June.

Whatever they do in Brussels, the weight of the decision must be taken into account because it will be the first binding law that will require all 27 EU countries to implement measures to protect nature.

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