In this edition of Brussels, my love?, we discuss a proposal for a nature restoration law that hit a roadblock this week when centre-right politicians called on the European Commission to go back to the drawing board.
This week, we were joined by Ladislav Ilčić, a Croatian MEP with the European Conservatives and Reformists Group, Chloé Mikolaijack, a climate and social hustice activist, and Mario Nava, Director-General of DG Reform at the EU Commission.
In a heated debate, industry vs. nature went head to head with the nature restoration law at the centre of the discussion. The proposed law - that aims to better protect and bring back nature in Europe - has been controversial thus far.
“Industry and nature, they used to be actually in contradiction, but they do not necessarily need to be in contradiction,” said Nava.
Not all of the panelists shared Nava’s optimistic outlook. “I will vote against it. I have to say that this approach was so unrealistic, that this approach brought the European Union to an energy crisis,” said Ilčić.
Activist Mikolaijack’s responded to the MEP, “I think it's important to remember that what we're talking about here is the nature restoration law rights, and the science is very clear about what we need to do,” she said. “ It's not a debate about science. It's a political debate ahead of the 2024 elections.”
The panel also discussed corporate sustainability due diligence, which aims to hold European companies (and those doing business in Europe) accountable for their environmental impact. The directive may even be able to impose sanctions.
“I think it's about time that it comes into law because we've had so many, so many scandals and so many terrible events, such as oil spills happening elsewhere, which were the responsibility of European companies, and they were never held accountable. So I think it's really great that it's finally on the table.” said activist Mikolaijack
MEP Ilčić made it clear he would vote against this directive, arguing it would bankrupt Europe. “And that is what is going to happen if the European Union continuously will go in this direction of socialism, of imposing some values to the economy,” he said.
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