The impulse to the profile has given the Nature Restoration Act an almost mythical appeal, much like the United Nations Compact on Migration before

Bart Eckott is the lead commentator.

Bart Ecot

The vote on the Nature Restoration Act in the European Parliament will be an interesting political moment. It is likely that a majority in Parliament will vote on the law, removing a cornerstone of the European Commission’s policy towards the European Union. This does not happen every day.

If it came to that, the so-called Sovereigns would claim it as a great victory. Not unfair. Sovereignists, who can be found mainly in the nationalist, conservative and right-wing populist corner, believe that the whole of the European Union should be less exaggerated. They want to return more “control” of politics to the member states. Their voice has been heard in the European Parliament for some time, but now they can also form the basis for a majority. From a democratic point of view, there is not much to argue against. A parliamentary majority that approves or disapproves of legislative action is the basis of our representative democracy.

However, European democracy risks leaving its remnants. Profiling maneuvers have given the Nature Restoration Act an almost mythical appeal, just as it once did with the United Nations Migration Pact. As if this law would make agriculture and industrial development impossible to save flowers and bees. This has nothing to do with the truth.

It is entirely possible that the Law of Nature Restoration is imperfect and still needs to be modified and refined. But without a law adequately protecting biodiversity, European politics will get worse, not better. Climate policy without protecting nature is becoming more difficult, not easier. Unless it’s for those who think climate policy is unnecessary, that’s bad news.

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A complex crisis, such as climate change, is challenging democracy. The old democratic principle of subsidiarity — conducting policy as closely as possible at a level as close as possible to the population — reaches its limits. The public interest conflicts with the local interest. The municipal council is not in a good position to decide on the high-voltage line because the local pressure is too great, and a provincial government cannot decide on climate policy on its own because the regional economic pressure is too great. But if a European top administration wants to implement the policy, its legitimacy is in question.

This is where the solution should be. Supporters of a more aggressive climate policy, for example, sometimes sigh that climate is important enough to circumvent democracy. It is difficult to imagine a more wrong and dangerous view.

European politics should become more democratic, not only in Parliament, but also in the European Commission. Of course there are already democratic barriers to the commission’s work, but a large part of the population does not feel that way. If our political system needs state reform anywhere, it is there.

Denton Watson

"Friend of animals everywhere. Evil twitter fan. Pop culture evangelist. Introvert."

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