Member States turn their backs on youth by calling off the vote on the Nature Restoration Law

28 March 2024

This is a joint statement from the major youth organizations that work on biodiversity at the European level, the European Young Rewilders, Generation Climate Europe, the Youth & Environment Europe network, the Global Youth Biodiversity Network Europe and its national chapters. 

Just after the celebration of the adoption of the Nature Restoration Law in the European Parliament, EU Member States crushed the hopes of young Europeans by not achieving the necessary qualified majority to vote on the adoption of the long-awaited Nature Restoration Law.

As representatives of European youth, we express profound disappointment in Hungary’s last-minute reversal and unequivocally denounce the stance of Member States that have withheld support for the legislation, thus disregarding the concerns of young people.

Our future is being put at stake by politically-driven decisions and national interests. 

Giulia Testa, now EYR coordinator, kickstarted and led a youth advocacy project focused on the Nature Restoration law back in 2021.

The youth has tirelessly advocated for the adoption of this pivotal legislation over the past three years. Witnessing its gradual erosion, compounded by further delays, is profoundly disheartening. The relentless disappearance of nature and species, coupled with any postponement in securing nature’s restoration, exacerbates the burden of efforts and implementation upon the youth, who bear the least responsibility for the prevailing environmental crises.

By doing this, the EU is undermining the principle of intergenerational equity to which it had agreed under the Global Biodiversity Framework at COP15.

We call the Belgian Presidency of the Council and President Ursula von der Leyen to shatter this deadlock, thereby upholding the integrity of EU institutions and duly considering the welfare of young (and future) European citizens.

Youth Position on EU Nature Restoration Law (November 2021)

Youth Position on EU Nature Restoration Regulation (March 2023)