Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo follows Emmanuel Macron for a European regulatory “pause”

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo in Ostande on May 24, 2023.

An air of “already heard”. Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo declared himself, Tuesday, May 23, in favor of a « pause » European regulations on environmental standards.

“What must be avoided now is overloading the boat, adding to the CO2 emission targets2for example new nitrogen dioxide standards, new standards linked to the law on the restoration of the natural environment, new standards in the field of biodiversity”said the Flemish liberal leader on the Dutch-language television channel VRT.

The Belgian Prime Minister thus follows in the footsteps of Emmanuel Macron, who called on May 11 for a “European regulatory break” in environmental matters, believing that the European Union (EU) had made “more than all the neighbors” and that she now had “need for stability”.

Difficult negotiations around the “Green Pact”

While the bulk of the EU’s climate plan has been adopted (reform of the carbon market, end of sales of combustion engine cars, etc.), negotiations are difficult for other key texts of the European “Green Deal” on biodiversity , pesticides, or polluting emissions from farms.

“I ask to press the pause button, but not in regards to the CO2. For CO2 we must keep our full ambition, but for the other subjects I ask to see if it is the right time to do everything at the same time”said Alexander De Croo.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Pesticides: the objectives of the European Green Deal are under threat

He said dread “a situation where there are so many rules that our industry can no longer manage them (…) and then we will not meet our CO2 reduction targets2because it is the industry that will have to implement them”. He also expressed concern about the risk of “losing the momentum that currently exists to deal with climate change”and D’“widespread skepticism”.

“Mind-blowing” statements

“Alexander De Croo’s statements are mind-blowing. I have no other word. The erosion of biodiversity is as worrying as climate change”reacted on Twitter Jean-Marc Nollet, co-president of the Ecolo party, partner of the coalition of Mr. De Croo. “If we want to keep a habitable planet, if we want to give a better future to our children, there is no question of pressing the ‘pause’ button”he added.

The main political force in the European Parliament, the EPP group (right) demands ” a moratorium “ on these legislative projects related to pesticides and the restoration of nature, being alarmed at an impact that is too heavy for farmers and « menaces » for food security.

On Tuesday, the Agriculture Committee of the European Parliament spoke out against one of these key texts, which imposes on Member States objectives for the restoration of ecosystems in land and sea areas damaged by pollution or intensive exploitation. .

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers The European Commission is stepping up to defend the Green Deal

The World with AFP

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