Today, on the 31st of May, the European Parliament´s main rapporteur César Luena expressed willingness for last minute negotiations before the vote in the Environmental committee in June the 15th. The Parliament's AGRI and PECH Committees rejected the Commission's proposal last week.

Members of the European Parliament, Mr. Petri Sarvamaa and Ms. Emma Wiesner co-hosted a breakfast debate with the Finnish Forest Industries Federation on nature restoration this morning at the European Parliament with keynote speeches from the rapporteur Mr. César Luena and CEO of the FFIF, Mrs. Paula Lehtomäki.

“EU is a huge geographical area with many different vegetation zones. Even within a single country, conditions may vary dramatically. The indicators concerning all forests need to be set in each Member States based on their own characteristics. One-size-fits-all approach simply does not work”, pledged Mrs. Paula Lehtomäki, CEO of the Finnish Forest Industries Federation in her speech.

MEP César Luena's expressed a strong willingness for negotiations as he said he is ''deeply open to negotiate with everybody in any moment about everything''. While emphasizing the importance of the regulation, he also clarified that several aspects of the nature restoration proposal had been misunderstood. Some misinterpreted points he brought up were the concerns ''that the law would take us back to the 1950's'' and that the restoration efforts would clash with renewable energy initiatives.

“There are quite a few misunderstandings on this proposal. I am deeply open to negotiate with member states, members, and sectors about the proposal. Still, I think we need this regulation”, concludes Luena.

Ms. Karolina D'Cunha (Deputy Head of Unit at DG Environment), Dr. Magda Bou Dagher Kharrat (Principal Scientist of European Forest Institute), and Dr. Karoliina Niemi (Forest Director, Finnish Forest Industries) held a panel discussion and found several questionable issues on the Nature Restoration Law in its current form, mostly related to huge differences in natural circumstances across Europe.

The Finnish Forest Industries is strongly committed to promoting biodiversity and tackling climate change but calls for flexibility in setting national characteristics to avoid 'one size fits all' legislation, which overlooks regional characteristics.

MEP Petri Sarvamaa expressed his concerns regarding the proposal, highlighting his doubt about its future in its current form. He emphasized that the proposal contains an overwhelming number of targets, which he deemed as "overly ambitious to this reality we are living in''."

“The proposal systematically disregards the current reality we are living. The proposal includes an excessive number of restoration targets that are significantly different from each other. There is no reasonable justification for including measures in compassing diverse aspects such as rewetting peatlands and adding green spaces in cities within the same legislation. Each member state has its own concerns regarding the proposal which also would make negotiations extremely difficult'', addressed Mr. Sarvamaa.