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A planned vote on the EU reintegration law has been cancelled

A planned vote on the EU reintegration law has been cancelled

No country can vote for a qualified majority, and Austria also wants to abstain due to a country's decision. It is still unclear when a decision can be made.

A non-binding vote among the 27 EU ambassadors on the EU re-accession law, which was scheduled to take place on Friday, was canceled at short notice. There will also be no vote in the EU Environment Council on Monday, where final approval of the law is due, EU constituencies said. An EU diplomat said an additional country's vote was still missing to obtain a qualified majority.

The European diplomat himself said that this issue should soon return to the agenda of the European Union Ambassadors Committee, but the date is not yet known. EU member states and the European Parliament have already agreed on a consensus text of the law. Agreement among EU countries recently collapsed after the Netherlands and Hungary, among others, withdrew their consent.

Austria wants to abstain from voting

Other countries that rejected the renormalization law or wanted to abstain from voting were Italy, Sweden, Finland and Poland, as well as Austria and Belgium, according to the European Union Chambers. According to the Council's calculation tool, it is enough for one of these countries to change its position in order to find a qualified majority (at least 15 out of 27 member states, representing at least 65% of the population).

Austria must abstain from voting due to a decision taken by the federal states. However, on Friday, on the sidelines of the EU summit, Chancellor Karl Nehammer stressed that he had also rejected the law “because the fundamental error is that it covers the European Union in too much of a grid pattern.” Nehammer told reporters: “Each country has its own characteristics, including “This includes agriculture in every country, so it's important to take that into account.”

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And for lack of more, Social Democratic EU MP Günter Seidl spoke of a “fatal wrong decision”, which is also a “danger for the EU legislative process as a whole”. (…) “If the agreements reached before the elections are no longer valid, it will put the entire democratic process into question,” warns Seidel in a live broadcast.

Environmental organizations criticize countries

Even before today's decision was announced, WWF criticized the “negligent blockade” imposed by the federal states against the EU re-accession law, which is now in the final negotiating stage after years of preparation. “The planned law would be a huge step forward and absolutely the right answer to the escalating climate and biodiversity crisis. The fact that the nine state governors are sabotaging this path for the whole of Europe is completely irresponsible,” says Joschka Prangs, spokesperson for the Global Biodiversity Fund. Environment Minister Leonor Gevsler (Greens) is committed to the unified negative statement from the federal states and must reject the proposal in the Council.

Sebastian Thessing-Mathe of Greenpeace Austria calls it “a scandal that EU countries are undermining the EU rehabilitation law.” Nature in Austria and Europe as a whole is at a turning point. “We urgently need this first aid kit to ensure a livable future for future generations.”

The planned EU law calls for the reforestation of more forests, the rewetting of swamps, and the restoration of rivers to their natural state. Negotiators from the European Parliament and EU countries agreed in November on corresponding requirements, according to which EU member states must take measures to protect natural areas. At the end of February, the European Parliament approved the settlement, meaning that only the formal approval of EU countries is required for the regulation to enter into force. (Abba)

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