newsletter 29/09/2012

 
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In this week's newsletter we have video invites to the EGP Athens Council, news from the French Greens on their policy disagreements over the ESM treaty, proposals for a GMO moratorium from the Serbian Greens and for a nuclear phaseout from the Greens of Japan. Read on


 
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EGP Council

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Global Greens

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EGP

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Member Parties

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Greens in the EP

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GEF

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Global Greens

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Athens Council

Come to Athens!

http://europeangreens.eu/athens2012/athens-videos

The programme is coming together, the venue is booked, member parties are making their arrangements and the policy discussions are being prepared - The Athens Autumn Council of the European Green Party is only 6 weeks away, and it's time to get registered.

To welcome delegates to the Council, EGP Secretary General Jacqueline Cremers and Greek Greens MEP Nikos Chrysogelos have made videos laying out their hopes for the event and how much they want to see the best possible involvement of Greens from everywhere in Europe.

You can see the videos by clicking on the image above.

GLobal Greens

EGP concerned about whereabouts of Liaquat Ali Shaikh

The European Green Party joins the Global Greens' call on the Pakistan government to intervene immediately and secure the prompt release of Mr. Liaquat Ali Shaikh.

Mr Liaquat, Chairperson of the Pakistan Green Party and a member of the Global Greens Coordination, was detained on September 19, 2012 in Jacobabad City, Sindh Province, Pakistan, while overseeing the distribution of relief materials for flood-affected people. No official charge has been pressed nor case registered against Mr Liaquat, who has been held incommunicado since being arrested and whose exact whereabouts are unknown. It appears that district authorities are responsible for Mr Liaquat’s disappearance.

"We are very concerned about Liaquat's detention without charges, without any legal advice nor support, and no communication. We support international efforts to pursue all avenues towards his immediate release", said Monica Frassoni of the European Green Party.

Athens Council

Council programme highlights

The programme for the EGP's Council in Athens is designed to stress what we see as the key issues facing the EU at this time. Digital Rights, Migration, the Future of the EU, and the Green way out of the crisis all feature prominently in the planned plenary meetings, workshops and side meetings.

As we advance our political discussion, we will also have the opportunity to embrace the Greek culture, explore their country, as well as meet with our Greek party members and guests so we can see, first-hand, how people are coping with the economic crisis. Whatever solutions are needed for Greece and its place in Europe, they must remember the impact on people, their lives, their families, their hopes, their futures. The human consequences of our decisions cannot be forgotten. Above all, going to Greece is a clear statement of our commitment to bring about both a workable solution for the economic crisis as well as reinforce our vision for a Europe that includes Greece as a welcomed, equal partner.

Digital rights, so important to individual rights and privacy in the 21st century, have surged to the forefront with the defeat of ACTA - a defeat that was fundamentally coordinated and then celebrated by the Greens in the European Parliament. In Athens, the ongoing structure of individual rights that reflect an understanding of the scope of digital information and the potential offered, will be debated with representatives of civil society - and done so in a manner that will be both comprehensive and understandable to all.

Migration is also going to feature highly on the agenda. As we have just seen with the forced evictions of over 200 Roma in Rome, this issue is no less serious a human rights challenge now as it was before the economic crisis began. The Migration Working Group will be organising discussions on the topic, and we are hoping to arrange a visit to a detention centre on the Saturday afternoon to put the issue into context and focus specifically on the situation in Greece.

In Athens, the Council participants, the delegates from all the European Green member parties, will elect its new Committee, a Committee that will continue the daily management of the European Green Party and will execute the main task ahead, the coordination of the European election campaign of 2014. For more information see the committee election page.

The European Green Party Council in Athens will, once again, demonstrate why the Green party movement, its insistence on openness and transparency across the parties, the depth of the collective voice and commitment to shared issues and actions, is able to bring viable, sustainable solutions to Europe that are based on respect for all and safeguard the democratic rights of its people. 

You are all invited to Athens, to Greece, to a Council that will be challenging and exciting.

France

French Greens turn against ESM

Last week the French Greens of Europe Écologie - Les Verts voted to oppose the ratification of the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance (TSCG) by the French government. In a dramatic meeting of the Party's Federal Council (made up of delegates from across the country, it is EELV's main policy making body), a considerable majority voted against the Greens supporting the agreement, due to the lack of green growth aspects and its perceived codification of austerity.

EELV currently participates in the new French government of socialist President Hollande (former party secretary Cecile Duflot is the current Minister for Housing and Territorial Equality, while former MEP Pascal Canfin is junior Minister for Development Aid), and their Socialist Party allies are already committed to pass the treaty as agreed. Whilst EELV's MPs are not forced to follow the recommendations of the Council, it is believed that all but 2 or 3 will be happy to do so, opposed as they are to the ESM proposals. In this they are joining with other parties on the French left and right political scene. 

The party is not unified on the issue. The Council also called for the exit of their ministers from the government as part of the same discussion, but this is unlikely to be heeded, after a participation of just over 100 days and with significant progress made in their departments and a lot more to come. Europe Écologie founder and Greens/EFA co-President Daniel Cohn-Bendit announced he would be suspending his cooperation with the party, and was not happy about how the position was decided. His (hopefully temporary) departure from the party comes as a blow to a movement that owes a lot of its success to his example and character. 


Jean-Philippe Magnen, EELV spokesperson, speaking in the French Le Nouvel Observateur, had this to say about the debate:
"We had a substantive debate about the European project and thus the decision was made to stand against the TSCG. I am happy and proud of both the methodology and the decision. [...Th]is a 
strategic "No" because we are more determined than ever to profoundly shift Europe towards more federalism, solidarity, something that this treaty will not do."

It remains to be seen how the French government will negotiate this disagreement between its two main elements, but it is likely that the Socialist Party will turn to the pro-treaty centre right UMP party to get a majority in favour of the TSCG. The internal debate within EELV might take a little longer.

You can see more information on the website of EELV.

Serbia

Greens call for GMO moratorium

The Greens of Serbia are calling on the Serbian state to initiate a complete moratorium on the import, production and trade of GMOs and GMO products for 10 years.

The moratorium would impose a prohibition of the import, manufacture and use of GMOs and GMO products even for scientific and medical purposes. This is more restrictive than the solutions from previous proposals and initiatives.

The Greens of Serbia think that Serbia should immediately strengthen the institutions and procedures necessary for a rigorous and complete control of GMOs and GMO products.

The Greens of Serbia’s MP, Ivan Karic, will request a public hearing at the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia on this issue.

The Greens of Serbia will also propose to the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia a resolution on the need for Serbia to become a country free of GMOs and products of GMOs (GMO free country).

 

Digital development

Launch of 'Islands of Resilience' report

The internet-using economy is large and is growing in many EU Member States. In 2010 the internet contributed €467 billion to the overall EU economy and this figure is estimated to double to €853 billion by 2016. So what are good policies for enabling growth, jobs and resilience in the ICT sector?

MEPs of the Greens/EFA Internet Core Group commissioned a study on a new model and this week presented the results. The model makes it possible to evaluate key risks and enablers in the fields of energy, connectivity and jurisdiction in relation to ICT deployment. The current study used Iceland as a test case, but the model enables the identification of good policies for ICT innovation and development in any country, both inside and outside of the EU.

For more information, see the event Greens/EFA event page.

Georgia

Long overdue penal reforms need to be put into practice

Demonstrations continued in Georgia this week in advance of national elections, as hundreds gathered in Tbilisi to protest prison abuse that has taken place under President Mikheil Saakashvili. The protests were sparked by video footage of Georgian prison guards brutally beating and abusing inmates.

The European Parliament has previously made clear demands on the Georgian Government to improve conditions in its Resolution on Georgia in November 2011. The mistreatment and torture of inmates in the video footage is unacceptable and President Saakaschwili must act immediately on Georgian prisons as well as ease access for checks by the Georgian Citizens-Representative as well as non-governmental Human Rights Organisations.

Ulrike Lunacek, foreign policy speaker of the Greens/EFA Group and member of the South-Caucasia Delegation of the European Parliament added:

"President Saakaschwili's recent announcement that those responsible will be punished and the penal system reformed is long overdue, and is hopefully not only due to next week's Parliamentary elections. Furthermore, I demand from the Saakaschwili government that there be no hindrance to free and fair elections on 1 October as this would significantly affect the reform process in Georgia."

Aiport noise

Greens conference focuses on noise pollution

This week the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament hosted a conference of experts focused on the issue of noise pollution from airports. The meeting addressed the problems of airport noise and their health impacts, as well as assessing the policy options for dealing with the problem.

The presentations of the individual experts are now available for viewing and download at the event page on the Greens/EFA website.

Green European Journal

Beyond growth/degrowth: 3rd edition of the GEJ

The 3rd edition of GEF's Green European Journal is online! The focus of this edition is on the debate over economic growth - can economic growth continue? And if not, what alternatives might exist? Can we encourage green growth, or should we look for economy that is entirely different? These issues are considered in the 3rd edition, along with a continued focus on the debate over the future of Europe. This edition features a range of thinkers from both inside and outside the Green movement, and from across Europe. The Journal is an open platform, so if you would like to contribute an article on these topics or any other topic, please get in touch!

www.greeneuropeanjournal.eu

A Green social and democratic Europe

A view from the South

GEF’s ‘Future of Europe’ project kicks off next week with the first seminar in Madrid, Spain on October 4th. The event will discuss the future of the EU in the context of the economic, environmental and democratic crises. This discussion is a continuation of the debate that took place at the GEF Summer University in Spain last month, where participants from across Europe shared their views on how the EU could return to its progressive roots and become a vehicle for Green change. GEF intern, Blanca de Riquer, has written a report on this Summer University, which outlines that issues that were raised by different speakers and previews some of the questions that will be debated at the event next week.

GEF's Spanish Summer University - a chance to discuss Europe
"Future of Europe" series kicks off with Madrid seminar on Oct 4th   

Global Greens

Japanese Greens call for full nuclear phaseout

The Japanese Greens have reacted to the Japanese government's announcement of the country's eventual phaseout of nuclear power. The government had been about to declare the elimination of all the nuclear power plants before the end of 30's, but due to pressure from the business community and the United States (according to media reports), the government failed to approve this proposal in the cabinet. The Japanese Greens criticize that a deadline at the end of 2030's is too late a target for the elimination of nuclear power plants – it should be as soon as possible.

Uiko Hasegawa, a co-representative of Greens Japan, gave a statement that widespread public opinion supported the stopping of all nuclear power plants, and should continue to push hard the Japanese government to support the elimination of atomic energy as soon as possible.

But the basic stance of the government is to “challenge” (rather than “deciding”) to eliminate the nuclear plants. Moreover, the government will still continue the reprocessing of nuclear fuels.

It is still controversial as to whether Japan will phase out all of their nuclear power plants. The attitude of the Japanese government is full of contradictions. Japanese Greens criticize its attitude and urge the government to phase out all of the nuclear power plants right now.

You can see the statement on the Greens of Japan's site.

All Greens/EFA stories courtesy of www.greens-efa.eu

Hope you enjoyed our latest offering. Any comments, news, suggestions or correction, please email us at info@europeangreens.eu, and please think about passing the newsletter on to anyone you think would be interested and get them to sign up at www.egp.eu.


 

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