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Livestream: Minister Gewessler on the Renaturation Act

Livestream: Minister Gewessler on the Renaturation Act
Livestream: Minister Gewessler on the Renaturation Act

Minister Leonore Gewessler (Greens)

The meeting of EU environment ministers on Monday in Luxembourg, where the focus will be on the EU renaturation law, is eagerly awaited. Recently, there has been no sign of a qualified majority for the planned EU regulation. Climate Protection Minister Leonore Gewessler (Greens) plans to make a statement on the matter at a press conference on Sunday. The Vice President of the EU Parliament, Othmar Karas (ÖVP), is hoping for the approval of the EU environment ministers.

  • The livestream starts at 2 p.m.:

There will be a public debate among ministers in Luxembourg on Monday. It is still unclear whether there will be a vote after that. This will depend mainly on whether the Belgian Council Presidency gets the impression during the debate that a qualified majority (55 percent of EU states, representing 65 percent of the population) will be achieved or not. For this to happen, one of the countries that have so far abstained or wanted to vote against would have to change their minds. Poland and Austria are repeatedly mentioned in EU circles as possible candidates.

  • Also read: EU renaturation law: federal states’ blockade remains in place

Gewessler, who will attend the Environment Council in Luxembourg for Austria, has stressed in the past that she is in favor of the EU renaturation law – but that she cannot agree to it because of a unified position taken by the federal states. After Vienna and Carinthia recently gave up their opposition to the EU law, but the other federal states are sticking to it, it was unclear among constitutional lawyers whether Gewessler is still bound by the position. At least the minister wants to address this issue at a press conference called at short notice on Sunday afternoon.

Federal Chancellor Karl Nehammer (ÖVP) said on the sidelines of the Ukraine peace conference in Switzerland that there are clear rules. “I assume that the minister will uphold the constitution to which she is sworn.”

  • More on the subject: EU Renaturation Act: Nehammer and Totschnig still against it

Gewessler’s approval would be “the goal,” but “legally not that easy,” said Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler (Greens). He is convinced that the Climate Protection Ministry is still seeking legal advice, said Kogler in the “Presse” (Sunday edition). “It is uncharted territory. From my point of view – and the point of view of various lawyers – there are certainly opportunities to legally question this blockade by the states.”

Karas hoped that the EU environment ministers would approve the renaturation law on Monday, as he said on Sunday in the ORF press conference. Whether Gewessler could also agree was a question of domestic political competence, he said.

  • Karas on the Renaturation Act in the ORF press hour:

Karas recalled that the EU Renaturation Act had received a majority in the European Parliament. The law is “part of meeting our climate goals” and a response to environmental disasters, floods and mudslides. The Renaturation Act has changed radically. The EU Commission’s proposal was excessive and bureaucratic, but the EU Parliament had pushed through over 136 changes. The law has nothing to do with expropriation and the loss of food security, Karas said in response to the arguments of critics.

  • Also read: 82 percent in favor of Austria’s approval of the EU Renaturation Act

According to a survey by the Market Institute (1,000 online interviews) commissioned by the WWF, 82 percent of the population said they were in favor of Austria approving the EU renaturation law. “This is a clear mandate for politicians. In terms of content, everything has long been in favor of Austria approving it, because it will secure our common livelihoods in Europe,” said WWF program director Hanna Simons in the run-up to the vote.

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Source: Nachrichten

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