The intent of an opinion poll conducted in six European Union (EU) countries that oppose the Nature Restoration Law has been questioned by the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers’ Association (INHFA).

INHFA president Vincent Roddy said the opinion poll in the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Poland, Italy and Hungary was “clearly designed to put pressure on those countries' national parliaments”.

“The use of opinion polls in this manner is very concerning,” he added.

Roddy said the poll being conducted in six countries that are opposed to the law and not all member states “indicates clear intent around its objectives”.

“You have to wonder, would the poll be published if it didn’t indicate support for the nature restoration law?” he added.

“Of course, surveys and opinion polls are often conducted by many organisations, including ourselves, but what heightens our concern is the body that commissioned the poll #RestoreNature coalition are, based on their own website, receiving financial support through the EU LIFE Programme and the [European] Commission.”


The INHFA president outlined that the European Commission and LIFE Programme will say their financial support for #RestoreNature doesn’t necessarily mean they were supportive of the polling.

However, he added, it should be recognised that “these opinion polls will definitely benefit EU institutions anxious to get the nature restoration law passed”.

“It is vital that the Commission remain independent and should not in any way be seen to influence policy at member state level, especially when it is policy that they have been so invested in,” he added.


This polling, Roddy said, is the equivalent of a non-government agency carrying out an opinion poll to see if the public in Dublin were interested in a city-wide all-night bus service across all routes.

“Any such poll would see high levels of support, comparable to findings from the #RestoreNature commissioned poll.

“However, no proposal like that would ever be made without consultation and agreement with those most impacted – namely the bus drivers.”

“So should farmers, property owners and our rural communities that will be heavily impacted by the nature restoration law not be given the same right?” he added.