Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Prof. Dr. Matthias Ruffert

Conserving Degraded Ecosystems: Legislating an EU Law on Nature Restoration

This semester’s MEUC will take place as a simulation of the Council of the European Union.

Addressing climate change is a multifaceted challenge that demands swift action across sectors spanning the economy, energy, and the environment. As part of the European Green Deal, the European Commission has proposed a holistic European law on nature restoration to recover biodiversity and restore ecosystems to mitigate climate change. Particularly, because wetland ecosystems contain great potential to capture and store carbon dioxides, it is necessary to develop an expedient response. The proposed EU nature restoration law shall implement the goals set out in the EU Biodiversity Convention. It envisages binding restoration obligations across a wide range of ecosystems, from forests and agricultural land to urban areas, rivers, and marine habitats.

The goal is to make the Union more resistant to climate change related effects, to prevent the collapse of ecosystems and the loss of biodiversity. But could these measures potentially lead to a reduction in available farmland or impose limitations on the allocation of space for the expansion of renewable energy within the Member States’ territories? It is in the Union’s interest to strive for a balanced approach to protect its natural resources and citizens from environmental harm and to transform itself into a prosperous society with a resource-efficient and competitive economy in accordance withUnion values, fundamental rights, and principles. 


The participants of the MEUC will discuss these and many other issues in the role of representatives of the Member States or of an EU institution. In doing so, the participants will not only discuss the legal problems and gain a deeper insight into the structure and law-making of the European Institutions. At the same time, they will improve their rhetorical and argumentative skills and their fluency in English.

The conference will take place on 1st and 2nd December 2023. Participation includes a preparatory meeting, the conception of a position paper, as well as the final simulation at the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES). The seminar is recognized as a key qualification of the Faculty of Law of HU and equals two BZQ-I points or 4 ETCS points.



The MEUC successfully took place at the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung on 1st & 2nd December 2023. Around 50 participants debated the issue of legislating the EU's nature restoration. After two heated days of discussion, the proposed Nature Restoration law was adopted by the Council. 


The final result can be found here.


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