newsletter 08/06/12

 
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The focus on this week's newsletter is definitely on the international stage, as we look at the Rio+20 summit that is rapidly approaching, we push the Europe wide campaign of solidarity with Greece and we hear about the latest green news on the economy from the Greens in the European Parliament. On the national level, the Serbian Greens make history by entering the Parliament and the Turkish Greens vote to merge into a larger Green force. Read on!


 
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Rio +20

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Greece

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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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Young Greens

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Rio +20

Green priorities for Earth Summit


 

On 6th June, a conference was organised in Brussels by Greens MEPs in the run up to the Rio+20 Summit, that will open in a few days in Brazil. 

World-known experts such as Severn Suzuki and philosopher Edgar Morin reflected and proposed conclusions on the future we really want for our planet.

The Rio+20 Summit will be the opportunity to set the sustainable development agenda for the next twenty years. One of the key themes of the summit will be how to define the 'green economy'. Will land protection be duly taken into consideration? Will the need for ocean governance be finally addressed? Will concrete measures and targets be adopted? How will environmental governance be framed? Will the EU play a key role in achieving a successful outcome?

Expectations are high because this Rio Summit has the potential to be the long-awaited shift towards a more sustainable and fair future.

In 1992, governments at the Rio Earth Summit met to define ways to foster sustainable development and raised lots of hopes all over the world. They made a historic commitment to sustainable development - an economic system that promotes the health of both people and ecosystems. Twenty years on, the strong historical message delivered by the young Severn Suzuki has not been fully heard and much remains to be done to preserve our natural capital.

Twenty years and several summits later, human civilization has never been closer to ecological collapse, a third of humanity lives in poverty, and another 2 billion people are projected to join the human race over the next 40 years. How will we move toward sustainable prosperity equitably shared among all even as our cities strain to provide decent jobs, housing, transportation, and social services, and as our ecological systems decline?

As part of the Summit, the Brasilian Green Party are hosting a Global Greens event on the 18th of June, during which they will adopt a declaration on green economy, and proposals for a more environmentally balanced world without poverty to be adopted at RIO+20.

You can find detailed information on the event and register at http://www.globalgreens.org/global-greens-rio-20.

Greece

We are all Greeks! We are all Europeans! campaign this weekend


EGP co-chair Monica Frassoni, together with representatives of European civil society, has launched a call for European action - "We are all Greeks! We are all Europeans!".

Numerous events are planned across Europe tomorrow, June 9th 2012.

“As citizens of Europe active in progressive politics and social movements, we reject the choice to give up on democracy and people's involvement in the decisions concerning them in order to "reassure markets". We express solidarity with those who, in Greece as in many other countries, look to the future in anguish and feel helpless in the face of a crisis apparently impossible to overcome. We feel that it is possible to go in the direction of European cohesion and solidarity and, at the same time, find a feasible path out of the crisis, not only for Greece but for the whole EU.”

The EU must decide whether to sabotage itself and go back to the bad old days of all-against-all, or to relaunch the project of a federal Union. The first requirement would be a European democratic government accountable to Parliament, endowed with a budget adequate to its ambitions, and thus in a position to issue Eurobonds.

The first and crucial test is what will be done for and with Greece in the run-up to the elections on the 17th June. It is also up to the EU and the member states to strike a positive note, now.

At stake is the fate of the Memorandum signed by the Greek government, the EU and the IMF. We are certain that simply imposing the Memorandum as it is and within the foreseen deadline is unacceptable and counterproductive.

We call therefore on the European institutions in the first place to:
1. Reopen the discussion on the most socially detrimental parts of the Memorandum itself;
2. Review the deadlines for implementation necessary reforms. These deadlines cannot continue to demolish the social state and at the same time leave the military expenditure or the privileges of the Church untouched, or fail to distribute its costs evenly;
3. Launch a plan of economic and financial aid for Greece now; not for the usual mammoth projects of big infrastructures which are bound to failure, but for a Green New Deal focussed on reducing the countries dependence on imported fossil fuels and on the ecological reconversion of Greece, as well as on a tough fight against corruption and an effective use of European funds. No less needed are European guarantees so as to freeze all the armament programmes, and a strong support on the part ofthe EU to obtain detailed information about Greek deposits in Switzerland and in other countries.

But “saving” Greece is not enough. The whole European project is today at risk, strangled by all-market ideology, the selfishness of national governments, and the illusion that trust can be regained by pulling down the social state and putting up borders again. This prescription, which is being imposed not only on Greece, but also on many other countries in Southern and Eastern Europe, will not work.

Join the call for action of the European citizens for Greece and Europe on June, 9th 2012:
Organize an event (flash mob, sit-it, etc.) in your city. Contact the campaign by email, by phone (+39.347.0359693) or through the facebook page at  We are all Greeks and Europeans.

Personnel

New Event Manager, Alice Rosmi

Alice Rosmi has joined the European Green Party Secretariat as Events Manager. Alice has been working since August 2011 with the Global Greens, to organise the very succesfull international Global Greens congress in Dakar in March 2012. She is now helping the European Greens to prepare the Autumn Council, other EGP events and assiting with the global greens related networks.

Fluent in Spanish, English and French, Alice is an Italian national with wide experience in events organisation and communication activities, who has 
previously worked for the Milan Trade Show, the Italian Embassy in Sweden, the Milan Chamber of Commerce and the European Commission in Luxembourg.

She has a Masters degree in Multimedia Communications, Publishing and Journalism and has lived and studied in Spain, Ireland and France.

Event

'Another Road for Europe', 28th June, Brussels

On 28th June a major event will bring together civil society organisations, social movements, networks, trade unions and political forces to a one-day discussion at the European Parliament in Brussels on the ways out of the European crisis.

Many appeals, texts, proposals are being launched about the future of Europe and about the way out of the crisis. The aim of this event is to contribute and open up a debate at the European level between activists, experts, political forces and policy makers on the viable actions that European and national institutions, political forces and social organisations can take to move beyond neoliberal policies, and towards a sustainable and democratic Europe, free from discriminations and inequalities. 

This initiative is part of a range of activities that are being organised at the European level on alternatives to the crisis. The meeting will focus around three issues (Macroeconomic policies and finance, Green economy and employment, Democracy) and will be the opportunity for a first, informal exchange of views on the most relevant policy proposals, in order to be able to understand which are those that could form the basis to build a common approach and, if possible, future common or coordinated actions. 

The aim is to contribute to the emergence of shared proposals for alternative policies at the European and national levels. Participants will include a wide range of civil society organisations, networks, Trade Unions, experts and intellectuals, as well as the progressive political forces in the European Parliament.

A detailed programme can be found here and fur further information you can send and email.

Serbia

Serbian Greens in parliament for first time

The Serbian Green Party is celebrating its entry into the national parliament of their party president, Mr Ivan Karic, as the party's first MP. As we reported earlier in the month, the Serbian Greens participated in the 'Choice for a Better Life' Coalition, which scored 22,3% of votes and won 67 seats in the Parliament. As President of Zeleni Srbije, Mr Karic became the first green MP in Serbia and was sworn with other MPs in the Parliament on May 31st. As negotiations among parties and coalitions are still ongoing, it is undefined who will form the new government. However, it is most likely that the former president Boris Tadic will succeed in securing a majority in the Parliament to support the cabinet he will propose. The Socialist Party of Serbia coalition will most likely be once again partners in the new government.

As the first Green MP in Serbia, Mr Ivan Karic will participate in the central event marking the Global Wind Day, on June 15th 2012 in Belgrade, together with the Danish Ambassador to Serbia and representatives of Belgrade University.

At the local level, Zeleni Srbije’s local candidates won seats in four Serbian cities – Boljevac, Cacak, Obranovac and Pozega, and are participating in local councils in Pancevo and Pozarevac, having Deputy Mayor responsibilities. On average, based on the post-election analysis and results from the towns where Zeleni Srbije participated individually in the elections (Irig, Sremski Karlovci and Ub), the party scored around 3% Serbia-wide.

Until the new government is formed, Zeleni Srbije plans to engage in the following activities:
- Review the election results Serbiawide and use this to reinforce and set foundations for further development of the party;
- Establish sustainable organisation networks and capacity building processes – assess the needs of the newly elected officials, party managers and active members and define an action plan to complete the process of party development;
- Develop and implement a feasible parliamentary strategy with the overall goal of increasing the positive public perception of Zeleni Srbije and their activities through to 2016.
- Identification of several issues of importance and developing key messages;
- Communicating the messages through the first green Member of Serbian Parliament;
- Create policy support teams, consisting of experts for each specific issue, in order to monitor, collect and process data of importance and to provide briefings to MP;
- Foster the creation of a media friendly environment towards green issues and related Zeleni Srbije’s activities by developing and implementing a new communication strategy.

Belgium

Greens work together to capture the international vote

On Thursday, Greens in Brussels met for an informal get together to start the local election campaign. Despite the pouring rain, which we hope is a sign of good luck for the rest of the campaign, about 25 people from different nationalities - Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Belgian, German, Swedish - sat down and discussed what they can do to help the Green parties in Belgium in their campaign efforts.

The first important issue of the campaign concerns the registration of the voters. Brussels is host to so many foreign citizens, and people from EU countries are allowed to vote for the local elections in the town they live in. This is the reason why Groen and Ecolo want to reach out to as many foreign citizens as possible.

After the registration period, the actual campaign will start. From the end of the summer, Belgium will be covered in campaign spirit, and of course Groen and Ecolo can use all the help they can get. So all Greens who live in Brussels, or in another region of the country, are very welcome to contact their local green party representatives and contribute to the campaign.

For more information on registration or joining the campaign, you can visit the Groen and the Ecolo websites.

Turkey

Turkish Greens take off!

Meeting at the unofficial party congress held on 2nd June, 90% of the delegates of EGP Observer Party Yesiller voted in favor of unification with the liberal left EDP party. EDP also held its official congress this week in Ankara and came to the same decision.

According to the two parties' agendas, a brand new green party - the name has not been decided yet - will be formed with a founding Congress to be held in early October 2012. Until then, a council of 60 people from Yesiller and EDP have been elected to draft the party program and statue of the new party.

“This is an historic moment for green movement in Turkey. The brand new party will have a capacity to participate in local and general elections and it already created a good deal of enthusiasm with the public”, said Turkish Green Party representative Ahmet Atil Asici.

During this interim period, Yesiller elected Ms. Sevil Turan and Mr. Kemal Tuncaelli as cospokespersons of Yesiller. They are in charge of leading Yesiller to the closing congress to be held in late summer.

Portugal

Congress report

The Portuguese Greens of Os Verdes held their 12th Congress in Lisbon on 18-19 May, with the backdrop of a tense national situation, with Portugal under a severe austerity plan inflicted by the Government of right wing liberals and a Christian popular party (with the support of the Socialist Party) and enforced by the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank.

The opening of the discussion focused around the evaluation of the work and activities done by the party since the last congress three years ago. Several issues and campaigns were brought up for discussion especially the two major national campaigns that were held in the last years:
- On Local and National production as a solution to rescue Portugal from the crisis, develop the internal market and create jobs;
- Against the National Hydroelectric Power Plants Plan, to prevent unnecessary expenditure of billions of euros and the irreversible destruction of our natural and cultural heritage.

Other issues that came up during the debate addressed the work of the green parliamentary group along with several legal proposals and the work conducted in cooperation with civil society and NGOs, suchas the national demonstrations promoted by the trade unions against austerity. Os Verdes participation in international events - especially those of the European Greens - was also referred as an important activity that must be continued and strengthened.

The following day saw some intense debates and the voting of 21 resolutions presented by the delegates, that covered a wide range of issues such as water, unemployment, sea and coastal protection, urban development, youth, economy, women rights, education for adults, biodiversity, internet, appliances efficiency, free software, media law, animal welfare, natural risks, war, Rio+20, nuclear and education.

A fruitful debate concentrated around the main political resolution, defining Os Verdes agenda for the next period, by analysing the current situation in Portugal, and pointing out solutions and directions for future work. 

The congress, which also worked as the kick-off of the commemorations of the 30th anniversary of the party that will take place throughout the year, received good media coverage by the 3 major Portuguese TV stations as well as several newspapers and the national news agency.

All documents of the congress can be accessed in Portuguese here.

World Environment day

Focus on Green Economy

June 5th, World Environment Day, is the annual event for the protection of our natural resources, and aims to establish the largest number of environmental protection activities on a global scale and generate public interest for environmental issues.

Nearly twenty years after the Earth Summit of 1992, and as the world prepares to head back to Rio for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012, great changes have occurred in spite of significant environmental costs.

The Rio +20 conference's mission is to secure the sustainable development agenda for the next twenty years and hopes to stimulate global environmental awareness in order to reorient the world towards a a more sustainable future.

The Green MEPs have always been pioneers in the promotion and protection of the environment. They were already present in 1992 in Rio to ensure their views influenced the final decisions.

In 2002, during the Earth Summit in Johannesburg, the Greens were also there to reaffirm their vision of sustainable development with an emphasis on the need to integrate environmental and social aspects in all policies.

At a time when the main topic of World Environment Day 2012 is greening the economy, the European Greens have been focusing their joint campaign since 2009 on a package of proposals and actions with green economy at their heart, the so-called Green New Deal to bring together economic, environmental, and social justice.

Common Campaign

Mobility survey

There are now just a few days to go before 16th June, when a European level campaign to look at mobility issues will be launched across the continent.

The initiative was designed by Dutch MEP Marije Cornelissen, with the aim of looking at how friendly Dutch cities are towards citizens with mobility difficulties, and the scope of the survey has now been enlarged to several European countries thanks to the participation of national Green parties.

In the Netherlands the survey will be organised in several cities, and Austria, Belgium, Finland, and Scotland so far have joined in. You can find details on planned events and how to organize a local survey on the dedicated website.

You are also encouraged to share online images, notes and information from the activities you are organising in your country. A manual with useful ideas of what to do is also posted online.

Later in 2012, the European Accessibility Act will be presented, and the Greens want to make sure that concrete proposals are presented to the European Commission ahead of that date, to make sure that everyone in Europe can shop, work, go out and do all things a full life has to offer, irrespective of physical ability.

This year’s joint event will be the first of its kind organised on an international level.

Economy event

Kickstart Social Europe


 

The EU is currently battling with the most severe crisis in its recent history. The social consequences for European citizens are dramatic. The European Union has put in place a series of initiatives to try to curb public deficits, commonly referred to as austerity measures. The solutions currently proposed - a policy mix of spending cuts, raising taxes and structural reforms - are exacerbating the crisis. What will the social consequences be if Europe continues down this path? On the eve of the June European Summit, the Greens/EFA Group will propose an alternative to austerity - a proposal on how to create prosperity and jobs without hitting on people most at risk. Join us for a lively discussion with European Commissioners Olli Rehn (Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro), László Andor (Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion) and several other high-level speakers.

Venue: Room A1G3, European Parliament,60 rue Wiertz,1047 Brussels

PROGRAMME
ONLINE REGISTRATION

GEF Campaign Handbook

Looking at Green success in London elections

This week GEF’s Campaign Handbook looks at the recent success of the Green Party of England and Wales, who came 3rd in the London Mayoral election for the first time in the party’s history. The breakthrough came two years after the GPEW won its first seat in Westminster, and a year after they won control of their first local authority. On the same day, Greens across the UK registered big breakthroughs at local level, especially in Scotland where the Greens increased their number of Council seats. As the Campaign Handbook reports, this was due to a lot of hard work by local green activists, but also due to a change in green messaging to appeal beyond traditional green voters. Greens in the UK are already preparing for the next election, being among the first Green parties in Europe to select candidates for the 2014 European Parliament elections. 

London Elections – Greens go from strength to strength

EU 2012 priorities

Climate Change

The Green European Foundation continues its series of policy briefings on the EU priorities in 2012, this time looking at the EU’s action on climate change. This report gives an overview of the main EU priorities with regards to climate change in the months ahead. It is a guide to the work and agenda of the Union for the current year, as well as a summary of Green responses and proposals in this area. Although the issue of climate change has moved off the public agenda to a large extent since its peak in 2007-8, the plans formulated then and since are still the policy of the EU, and lowering emissions is still the target across all areas of EU action.

EU 2012 Priorities: Climate Change

Title

Call for Policy Working Group members

The Federation of Young European Greens is glad to announce a call for its Working groups' members. FYEG's working groups have significantly increased their role in the past few years and have shown they are an important part for building the activities’ agenda as well as the realization of all FYEG events.

If you are interested in aspects of young Green politics and if you are ready to take the challenge to overcome the distance limits and work together with us for strengthening the cooperation between our green organizations as well as enhancing the role of FYEG on an international level – feel free to contact us. There is no need for you to be an expert on the specific topic, but you should feel able and willing to particiate within the working group throughout the whole year and give input from the discussions that are taking place within your Member organization (MO) or your country.

The working groups' members generally meet every second or third week on Skype. Apart from this - the time you will dedicate to participate in their activities depends on you. Past working groups have arranged international seminars, written articles, started campaigns, created action readers and had a lot of internal discussions on their issues!

You can see the full list of policy areas and how to apply at FYEG's website.


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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