De Croo: 'Currently no majority for European Nature Restoration Law'

There is currently no majority among EU member states to approve the nature protection law, Belgian prime minister Alexander De Croo said on Wednesday. At least 15 member states, representing at least 65 per cent of the European population, must vote in favour for the law to be adopted.

The vote on the nature law will take place soon. Having been given the green light by the European Parliament last month, the legislation now only needs formal approval by the 27 member states. Unanimity is not required.

But it does not look like this threshold will be reached, says De Croo. "The [Belgian] presidency made a preliminary assessment today that there is no qualified majority at the moment," he said. Instructions have been given to the presidency to see how the dossier can still be unblocked.

Discussion postponed

The planned vote will take place on Monday during a meeting of European environment ministers, and the dossier was due to be discussed by EU ambassadors on Wednesday. That discussion has been postponed until their meeting on Friday afternoon.

The reason for the delay, according to one source, is that Hungary may not support the nature conservation law. Officially, Budapest has not yet indicated how it will vote, but the country has a reputation for blocking EU negotiations.

It is also possible that the directive will be raised at the European summit on Thursday and Friday. EU sources also do not rule out the possibility that member states that have indicated they will abstain will vote yes after all, and Germany is on board, they say.



Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.


Belga News Agency delivers dependable, rapid and high-quality information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Belgium and abroad to all Belgian media. The information covers all sectors, from politics, economics and finance to social affairs, sports and culture, not to mention entertainment and lifestyle.

Every day, our journalists and press photographers produce hundreds of photos and news stories, dozens of online information items, plus audio and video bulletins, all in both national languages. Since the end of March 2022 English has been added as a language.

For public institutions, businesses and various organisations that need reliable information, Belga News Agency also offers a comprehensive range of corporate services to meet all their communication needs.


Arduinkaai 29 1000 Brussels