Members' Research Service By / October 27, 2022

EU nature restoration regulation: Setting binding targets for healthy ecosystems [EU Legislation in Progress]

Ecosystem restoration, as framed by the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, covers a wide range of activities, applied singly or jointly, with the aim of repairing degraded ecosystems.

© Martina Simonazzi / Adobe Stock

Written by Vivienne Hallleux (2nd edition, updated on 10.07.2023).

As announced in the EU biodiversity strategy for 2030, on 22 June 2022 the European Commission tabled a proposal for a nature restoration regulation. The proposed regulation would set multiple binding restoration targets and obligations across a broad range of ecosystems, from forests and agricultural land to urban areas, rivers and marine habitats, complementing other existing legal instruments. Altogether, these nature restoration measures should cover at least 20 % of the EU’s land and sea areas by 2030, and all ecosystems in need of restoration by 2050. Member States would be required to develop nature restoration plans to reach these targets at national level; the Commission would assess these plans.

While nature restoration enjoys strong public support, the proposal has raised concerns among stakeholders as regards the enforceability and achievability of the targets, the economic and social implications, the protection of property rights and the financial support for restoration.

In Parliament, there was no majority in favour of the proposed regulation as amended in the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI), responsible for the file. The committee was therefore bound to table to plenary a proposal to reject the Commission’s text. Parliament now has to take a position. The Council adopted its general approach on 20 June 2023.


Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on nature restoration
Committee responsible:Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI)COM(2022)304
Rapporteur:César Luena (S&D, Spain)2022/0195(COD)
Shadow rapporteurs:Christine Schneider (EPP, Germany)
María Soraya Rodrígues Ramos (Renew Spain)
Jutta Paulus (Greens/EFA, Germany)
Alexandr Vondra (ECR, Czechia)
Mick Wallace (The Left, Ireland)
Ordinary legislative procedure (COD) (Parliament and Council on equal footing – formerly ‘co-decision’)
Next steps expected: First-reading vote in plenary
timeline-10 steps-voted in plenary
Regenerate urban ecosystems
Regenerate urban ecosystems
Five reasons why we need forests
Five reasons why we need forests
Marine environment
Marine ecosystems
Restoring river connectivity
Restoring river connectivity

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