As part of our coverage of the European elections Europa United has been presenting an information article on each of the main groups and parties that make up the European Parliament. This is designed to help you find out as much information on who is seeking your vote in May 2019. In this information article, we look at the The Greens / European Free Alliance.
… a European Union of free peoples based on the principle of subsidiarity who believe in solidarity with each other and all the peoples of the world.
Its co-Presidents, Ska Keller of Germany’s Alliance 90/The Greens and Philippe Lamberts of the Belgian Confederated Ecologists, are supported by a First Vice President, a Treasurer and four Vice Presidents. Its 52 MEPs are drawn from 27 Parties in 18 of the EU’s 28 member states.
The Group is selective about its member Parties and the ideologies they champion, so most of its member Parties place themselves in the political Centre-left to Left, with strong adherence to Green, Centre and left-of-Centre ideologies, although some regional interests and Euro-scepticism are also represented.
Views and Priorities
The Greens-EFA believes that Europe is too focussed on economic conception at the expense of social, cultural and ecological values. The Group champions individuals’ rights to self-determination and seeks to deepen democracy through solidarity, decentralisation, transparency and direct participation in decision-making.
To achieve these objectives, it advocates improving structures to encourage democratic participation in decision-making, redistributive policies of employment and labour, especially to encourage more female participation in industry and politics, reforms to raise ecological, social and democratic standards and foreign policy designed to resolve problems by peaceful means.
The Greens/EFA advocates a democratic process that links trade, security, economic and social issues to environmental, cultural and democratic rights in order to guarantee human and citizen’s rights, including for people from non-EU countries.
• Green Politics
• Minority Politics
Ska Keller – Germany
Philippe Lamberts – Belguim
First Vice President
Josep Maria Terricabras – Spain
Bas – Eickhout -Netherlands
Pascal Durand – France
Julia Reda – Germany
Bodil Valero – Sweden
Monika Vana – Austria
The Group pushes for more transparency and democracy in the EU and its institutions. They believe that transparency is essential to equality and to prevent private interests from taking over the political process. They seek improved structures for democratic participation in political decision-making, involving NGOs, trade unions, citizens and civic authorities at all levels, with measures to ensure equal participation of women.
It advocates comprehensive economic and social transformation that delivers prosperity, and well-being within the physical limits of the planet. This entails economic and social reforms to guarantee high ecological, social and democratic standards and sustainable development for both human beings and the natural world.
In the wake of the Luxleaks scandal, the Greens/EFA has pushed hard for European Parliamentary support for tax transparency.
Employment and redistribution policies should aim to share the workload more fairly between women and men, guarantee equal rights and opportunities, and ensure that women are fully able to take part in the formal labour market as well as in political life.
The Group consistently struggles for consumer rights and transparency in the food supply chain and push for a GMO-free Europe.
A European green trade policy should, above all, ensure that trade achieves the maximum human well-being for the minimum use of energy and resources. This entails a redesign of the global trade system that does not undermine the regeneration of ecosystems, while facilitating high-quality employment and environmental protection at home and abroad. Such systematic change must be based firmly on respect for the dignity and rights of all people, including with a clear gender perspective, and is not at the expense of other species with which we share the planet.
Climate change can realistically and responsibly be tackled only by a green energy revolution that preserves biodiversity, promotes sustainable use of resources and protects humans and the environment.
The EU should play a more active role at its doorstep and in the world, through a foreign policy designed to resolve problems by peaceful means rather than by military force.
The Greens/European Free Alliance champions green politics and, reflecting its representation of stateless nations and disadvantaged minorities, minority politics and regionalism.
Its member Parties and their ideologies reflect the Group’s priorities, as shown in the graph, which compares the political positions of the Group’s member parties and the ideologies of each. The left-hand bar shows Party-level political positions, while the right-hand bar looks deeper, to the sets of ideologies championed by Parties within the Group. Both are weighted by the number of MEPs representing them.
In the left-hand bar, we see that by far the dominant Party-level position is Centre-left, with notable Centre-left – left and Left representations. The Centre-left is dominated by Germany’s Alliance 90/The Greens, with 11 MEPs, joined by the next biggest Party in the Group, France’s Europe Ecologie, with six MEPs, Sweden’s Green Party, with four, as well as Austria’s The Greens – The Green Alternative, with three, and seven other Parties with eight MEPs between them. Four Parties with six MEPs between them make up the Centre-left – left membership, while the Left comprises seven Parties with nine MEPs.
Now look at the right-hand bar, which captures the ideologies adhered to by those Parties. The profile described by this bar is dominated by Green ideologies, championed by 17 of the Group’s 27 Parties. Centre ideologies, notably Pro-Europeanism, supported by eight parties, with 22 MEPs, while Centre-left ideologies include social democracy, adhered to by six Parties with nine MEPs between them, direct democracy, grassroots democracy and e-democracy, as well as progressivism. The Group’s overall ideological complexion owes much to the 11 MEPs from Germany’s Alliance 90/The Greens, which underwrites Green, Centre and Centre-left ideologies. Right – far-right ideologies are attributable to some Euro-sceptic Parties, as well as adherence by nine Parties to agrarianism and various brands of nationalism and regionalism, echoing the Group’s positions favouring regionalism, decentralisation and subsidiarity.
The European Greens office addresses is:
Rue Wiertz 31
B-1050 Brussels, Belgium
We also feature an exclusive interview with Bas Eickhout, one of the European Green’s Spitzenkandidat. You can listen to the podcast at the link here.
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