MEPs increasingly critical of EU green policy

MEPs are increasingly resentful of the European Union's quick adoption of green legislation. The impending elections are also driving them to reconsider their options.

Andrus Ansip, a member of the European Parliament from the Reform Party, said in an interview with ERR that the European Parliament is becoming increasingly critical of ecological proposals.

For example, many MEPs are not happy with the Nature Restoration Law, which seeks to cut pesticide use in the EU in half; however, this should not be a concern for Estonia, where pesticide use is minimal, Ansip said.

"However, if someone comes up with the idea of simply halving everyone's use - even for those who don't use much - that also creates problems for us," he continued.

In addition, the desire to expand protected areas and rehabilitate degraded land is a concern for us, as agricultural land comprises a significant portion of the country, he said.

"In the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, much farmland must be given up in order to restore the natural environment. Clearly, producers are opposed to this. There are indications of fatigue or tolerance limits," Ansip said.

Isamaa MEP Riho Terras echoed these sentiments. He said the European Commission's proposals are not of high quality. It appears that none of these documents have undergone an impact assessment.

According to Terras, this is especially visible in the case of agriculture-related measures. Parliament has no choice but to reject them.

"The most notable are the rules governing the use of chemicals and fertilizers, as well as those related to environmental restoration, which are currently delayed in three committees. The overwhelming majority of MEPs have concluded that they do not qualify," Terras said.

In this way, the European Commission is not helpful to the green revolution. Terras emphasized that the momentum could be reversed entirely.

Yana Toom, a Center Party MEP, said that high goals are often abandoned later on. "If you want to accomplish something, you must begin with a very high desired aim, eventually it shrinks in the process and you obtain a reasonable measure."

Toom added that European Parliament elections will take place next year. "We have to think about the political balance here. We can be very ambitious, but it will be better if we don't take an extreme right-wing turn," she added. "Then we won't have a green turn at all."

Jaak Madison, an EKRE MEP, agreed that election preparations are underway. "More and more individuals are now assuming a stance of support for businesses," he said.

Madison added that the European Commission's targets have been unrealistic from the start.

"This is starting to set in now. There are people who argue that we must keep our foot on the gas pedal in order to reach the goals — that's fine, but at what cost?" Madison asked.

The Reform Party's Urmas Paet also mentioned the Nature Restoration Law, which has divided parliament into two factions.

"If this bill is now put to a final vote in July, I am not so sure, for the first time ever, that an important measure related to the green revolution will be adopted," the MEP said.

Paet said that this is due to the rising cost of living in Europe. If the green turn appears to be contributing to this, there will be resistance.

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Editor: Kristina Kersa

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