Bundesrat’s EU Committee: FPÖ application for “Revision of EU Renaissance Act” rejected (PK0818/10.07.2024)

Vienna (PK) – After the FPÖ motion to “modify the EU restructuring law” with the EU negotiation item “adjourned” with the votes of the ÖVP and the Greens at the last meeting of the Bundesrat’s EU Committee (see Parliamentary Letter Nos. 722 of June 26, 2024), the Federal Councilors today Two items were put back on the agenda in the State Chamber’s EU Committee. The EU negotiations include a communication from the European Commission setting a Union-wide climate target for 2040 to achieve climate neutrality in the EU by 2050. Today’s statement from the FPÖ was rejected as only the Freedom Party spoke in support of it.

The FPÖ finds a “mandate of the European Union”.

In the debate on the demand to “replace the EU Restructuring Act”, Andreas Arthur Spönring (FPÖ/N) discussed what “has been done” to the Restructuring Act in the form of “mandating from the EU”. There are no data or facts on which to base the reconstruction. Additionally, there is very little time to implement what he calls “unattainable goals.” For example, when natural river flows are restored, flood protection capacity will decrease, Spanring said. In the case of food, he warned, Austria could turn from an exporter of high-quality products to an importer of climate-damaging products. There are also fears of interference with basic rights, for example property ownership, difficulties in agriculture and interference with cultural landscape and species conservation. What is particularly irritating is that there has been a consistent statement from the federal states against the EU restructuring plan, but Austria, with Minister Leonor Kevesler, has shown that it is about as far as it can go.

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Stefan Schennach (SPÖ/W) said that since the two federal states had left the report, there was no longer a single report. Additionally, the Revival Act is already in force and must be acknowledged by the applicants. Schenach believed that precisely this helps to preserve agriculture and ecology.

Committee leader Christian Buchmann (ÖVP/St) points out that there are different legal opinions on the matter, as does an expert from the Ministry of Climate Protection. According to Bernhard Ruf (ÖVP/O), the FPÖ’s demand is unrealistic, especially since reversal is unlikely. Among other things, the President has committed to food sovereignty at the European level. Additionally, legal actions have been taken or are planned in the revival matter. In principle, repeal of the Revival Act is only possible upon publication in the European Official Journal.

EU Climate Target 2040

By 2023, climate change will increase faster than ever, according to a European Commission communication. Based on a comprehensive impact assessment, the Commission recommends a target of reducing net greenhouse gases by 90% by 2040 compared to 1990 to be on track for climate neutrality by 2050. The impact assessment shows that the -80% target by 2040 is incompatible with the 1.5 degree target of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Austria has not yet announced a position on the level of the proposed 2040 target, but – as planned in the government plan – wants to position itself as an “ambitious and reliable partner in the group of climate protection pioneers”, according to the climate ministry. . However, the Commission’s communication of the importance of nuclear energy in achieving climate targets has been viewed critically. From an Austrian perspective, the Ministry of Climate Protection insists that using nuclear power to combat the climate crisis is not a “practical, safe or cost-effective option”. (Continuation of the European Union Committee of the Federal Council) mbu/bea

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