‘Insane,’ ‘dangerous’ to give up on EU nature law, says Belgian minister

By Louise Guillot | 04/19/2024 12:08 PM EDT

Alain Maron faces strong resistance from capitals — and his own PM — as he tries to rally countries to back the law.

Brussels Minister Alain Maron talks to the press in Brussels, Wednesday 15 November 2023.

Brussels Environment and Climate Minister Alain Maron talks to the press in Brussels on Nov. 15, 2023. Hatim Kaghat/Belga via AFP via Getty Images

BRUSSELS — Ignore the prime minister, Belgium is committed to getting the EU’s new nature rules approved.

That’s according to Brussels Environment and Climate Minister Alain Maron, who is responsible for steering talks among EU ministers on the highly controversial law and says he remains committed to passing the legislation despite pushback from capitals and skeptical comments from his PM.

It would be “insane” and “dangerous” to reject the legislation this late in the process, Maron told POLITICO. “What’s happening is really very problematic, both in substance and institutionally.”


EU institutions struck a deal on the new law — which sets binding targets for restoring 20 percent of the EU’s lands and seas by the end of the decade — in November. But while members of Parliament (MEPs) gave their blessing to the deal, the Belgian presidency of the Council of the European Union was forced to postpone a vote among EU ministers, after several countries — including Hungary — announced they would not back the text, jeopardizing its approval.