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The European Green Party (or European Greens or EGP) is the Green political party at European level. As such it is a federation of green parties in Europe.

History

Before the foundation of the European Green Party in 2004 the Green Parties of Europe were organized differently, in a loose coordination between 1979 and 1993 and in a federation between 1993 and 2004.

1979 to 1993

In 1979 the Coordination of European Green and Radical Parties (CEGRP) was set up to coordinate the participation of Green and Radical parties in the 1979 European Parliament election. There was considerable diversity between the Green and Radical groups and the parties were unable to form a common pan-European electoral platform. Although some parties polled well, no Green entered the European Parliament.

In the 1984 election the Greens entered again. They held a congress in the spring of 1984 in Liègemarker and set up a restructured European Green Coordination (EGC), with a secretariat provided by the Dutch Political Party of Radicals. They also issued a Joint Declaration of the European Green Parties. Furthermore, overall the member parties had grown stronger. Eleven MEP of member parties were elected to the European Parliamentmarker. They formed the Green Alternative European Link (GRAEL) in the European Parliament. The group was too small to be recognized by the Parliament for funds and committees and therefore it joined the Rainbow Group, which also encompased regionalists, the Danish People's Movement against the European Community and some radicals and socialists. The European Greens formed a loose confederal triangular structure with the autonomous GRAEL in parliament, the weak EGC as a supra-national coordinating body and the member parties. The position of the European Greens was also weakened by the principle of rotation which some member parties (Germany and the Netherlands) used, with their MEPs being replaced by another after serving half their term. This rotation technique originated with the German Greens to prevent their members being co-opted by the informal negotiation system within the Bundestagmarker, but it served them badly within the European Parliament. For the Dutch parties the choice for rotation was a compromise between three parties which had only two seats in parliament: one seat was kept by the top candidate while the second seat rotated between the second and the third candidate. This way each party would have a representative in the EP. Finally there still was considerable diversity in the opinions of the Greens, especially between pro-European and Eurosceptic tendencies. These factors weakened the position of the Greens in Parliament.

In 1989 election the Green parties won 26 seats. Because of political conflicts with the continuing Rainbow Group, the European Greens formed a separate parliamentary group, The Green Group in the European Parliament. During this period the Greens became more entrenched in parliament.

1993 to 2004

In June 1993 the European Federation of Green Parties was formed by the members of the EGC in Kirkkonummi, Finlandmarker. The organization became more structured, it now had a three-yearly Congress, a Council and a Federation Committee (executive). It strengthened its ties with the Green Group in the European parliament.

In the 1994 election Green parties won a total of 20 seats. They were joined by a member of the Danish Socialist People's Party and one member of both the Italian South Tyrolean People's Party and La Rete. Again the Greens formed a separate group from Rainbow Group, now renamed the European Radical Alliance.

In the 1999 election the Greens performed particularly well winning 38 seats.. They formed a combined group with the European Free Alliance, which represented regionalist parties and independence movements, which previously participated in the European Radical Alliance. The relationship between the Greens and these parties was different from before, as the Greens were stronger numerically and politically.

Since 2004

The European Green Party was founded at the Fourth Congress of the European Federation of Green Parties on February 20-22, 2004 in Romemarker in a party convention with over 1,000 delegates. Thirty-two Green parties from all over Europe joined this new pan-European party. The foundation of the new party was finished with a signing of the treaty constituting the party in the Capitol of Rome. As such the Greens were the first to form a political party at European level, the other European federations follow suit in the period 2004-2006

In the 2004 European Parliament election the member parties won 35 MEPs. In 2009 European Parliament election campaign, even though the European Parliament was made smaller, the EGP member parties won 46 seats, the best result of the Green Parties in 30 years.

Ideology and issues

The European Greens have always been committed to basic tenets of Green politics, such as environmental responsibility, individual freedom, inclusive democracy, diversity, social justice, gender equality, global sustainable development and non-violence.

However, its relationship to the European Union and its institutions have changed dramatically and are still the subject of a lively debate. In the 1970s and 1980s the European Greens were generally skeptical of European political and economic integration, which was seen as contrary to environmental and social interests. In its 1984 program, the European Greens advocated the formation of an alternative Europe, which was neutral and decentralized. In 1989, some member parties adopted a more parliamentary course and became more supportive of European integration. The program advocates the democratization of Europe's institutions. In their 1994 program, the Greens abandoned their principled opposition of European integration and began to propose pragmatic alternatives for the European Union's policies and institutions. The 1999 and 2004 programs also reflect this.

There is also considerable diversity between the opinions of member parties: they range from pro-European, such as the Luxembourgish Dei Greng to Eurosceptic, such as the Swedish Miljöpartiet de Gröna.

In the area of Internet politics, the European Greens–European Free Alliance parliamentary group became famous for the strong support of proponents fora free information infrastructure, especially in their workon the directive against software patents in 2003.

Representation

In this table one can see the results of the Greens for the six direct elections to the European Parliament, in terms of seats and votes. It is also shows how many European Commissioners the European Greens have, who led the parliamentary group. It also lists how the Green parliamentary group and supra-national organizations was named and what European parliamentary group they joined.
Year MEP MEPs % Votes % ECmarker Leaders EP Subgroup EP group Organization
1979 0 0 2.4% 0 none none none Coordination of European Green and Radical Parties
1984 11 2.5% 4.2% 0 Alexander Langer and Maria Amelia Santos Green Alternative European Link Rainbow Group European Green Coordination
1989 25 4.8% 7.4% 0 Alexander Langer and Maria Amelia Santos Green Group in the European Parliament European Green Coordination
1994 21 3.7% 7.4% 0 Alexander Langer and Claudia Roth Green Group in the European Parliament European Federation of Green Parties
1999 38 6.1% 7.7% 1 Heidi Hautala and Paul Lannoye European Greens European Greens–European Free Alliance European Federation of Green Parties
2004 35 4.8% 7.3% 0 Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Monica Frassoni European Greens European Greens–European Free Alliance European Green Party
2009 46 6.3% ? 0 Daniel Cohn-Bendit European Greens European Greens–European Free Alliance European Green Party


Organization

Organizational structure

The European Green Party is constituted out of political parties from European countries (although not necessarily from European Union member states). Parties can also become observer. Since 2004 individual membership of the European Green Party is also possible, these do not enjoin special rights however.

The most important bodies of the EGP are the Congress, the Council and the Committee.
  • The Congress consists out of 400 representatives of member parties and Green MEP. These are allotted proportionally on basis of their votes in the most recent European or national election. Each party has at least four members. The congress has the last word on general policy of the EGP and its guiding principles.
  • The Council consists out of representatives of the MEPs and the member parties, small parties have one representative, larger ones two. The council is responsible for political affairs between congresses and it decides over organizational matters, such as the election of committee, the application of members and observers and the statutes of the EGP.
  • The Committee consists out of nine members, including two spokespersons (one man and one woman), a secretary-general and a treasurer. They are responsible for daily political affairs, execution of the council's decisions and the activities of the secretariat-general.
All of these bodies decide with a two-thirds majority.

The European Greens are organized in several regional networks. These are organized around seas, creating somewhat of a bioregional structure: such as the Green Islands Network ("a network for Green Parties in Britain, Ireland and associated islands"), the Baltic Sea Greens, the Green Mediterranean Network, Green Adriatic Network and the North Sea Greens

Member parties

Country or Region Name (original language) Name (translation) Status MEPs
Albaniamarker Partia e Gjelber Green Party member n/a
Austriamarker Die Grünen The Greens member 2
Flemish Community of Belgiummarker Groen! Green! member 1
French Community and German-speaking Community of Belgiummarker Ecolo member 2
Bulgariamarker Зелена партия/Зелените Green Party/The Greens member 0
Cyprusmarker Κίνημα Οικολόγων Περιβαλλοντιστών Ecological and Environmental Movement member 0
Czech Republicmarker Strana zelených Green Party member 0
Estoniamarker Eestimaa Rohelised Estonian Greens member 0
Finlandmarker Vihreät Green League member 2
Francemarker Les Verts The Greens member 7
Georgiamarker საქართველოს მწვანეთა პარტია Georgia Greens member n/a
Germanymarker Bündnis 90/Die Grünen Alliance '90/The Greens member 14
Greecemarker Οικολόγοι Πράσινοι Ecologists Greens member 1
Hungarymarker Zöld Demokraták Green Democrats member 0
Irelandmarker Green Party/Comhaontas Glas Green Alliance member 0
Italymarker Federazione dei Verdi Federation of Greens member 0
Latviamarker Latvijas Zaļā Partija Latvian Green Party member 0
Luxembourgmarker Déi Gréng The Greens member 1
Maltamarker Alternattiva Demokratika Democratic Alternative member 0
Moldovamarker Partidul Ecologist din Moldova "Aliante Verde" Ecologist Party of Moldova Green Alliance member 0
Netherlandsmarker De Groenen The Greens member 0
Netherlandsmarker GroenLinks GreenLeft member 3
Norwaymarker Miljøpartiet De Grønne Environmental Party The Greens member n/a
Polandmarker Zieloni 2004 Greens 2004 member 0
Portugalmarker Os Verdes The Greens member 0
Romaniamarker Partidul Verde Green Party member 0
Russiamarker Zelyonaya Alternativa Green Alternative member n/a
Slovakiamarker Strana zelených Green Party member 0
Sloveniamarker Stranka mladih Slovenije Youth Party of Slovenia member 0
Spainmarker Los Verdes The Greens member 0
Spainmarker Iniciativa per Catalunya Verds Initiative for Catalonia Greens member 1
Swedenmarker Miljöpartiet de Gröna Environmental Party The Greens member 2
Switzerlandmarker Grüne / Les Verts / La Verda / Verdi The Greens member n/a
Ukrainemarker Партія Зелених України Green Party of Ukraine member n/a
England and Wales Green Party of England and Wales member 2
Northern Irelandmarker Green Party in Northern Ireland member 0
Scotlandmarker Scottish Green Party member 0
Andorramarker Els Verds d'Andorra Greens of Andorra observer n/a
Azerbaijanmarker Azərbaycan Yaşıllar Partiyası Green Party of Azerbaijan observer n/aa
Belarusmarker Bielaruskaja Partyja "Zialonye" Belarussian party The Greens observer n/a
Croatiamarker Zelena lista Green List of Croatia observer n/a
Denmarkmarker Socialistisk Folkeparti Socialist People's Party observer 2
Serbiamarker Zeleni Greens observer n/a
Turkeymarker Yeşiller Greens observer n/a
Europe Federation of Young European Greens observer n/a
Europe European Network of Green Seniors observer n/a
sources


De Grønne from Denmark were expelled from the EGP in 2008. The reason was that De Grønne intended to cooperate with the People's Movement against the EU in the upcoming elections which sits in the European United Left–Nordic Green Left parliamentary group instead of the European Greens–European Free Alliance-group.

Linked organisations

The most important organization linked to the EGP is the Federation of Young European Greens, which is a similar federation of Green youth organizations.

The EGP fosters a European Network of Green Seniors and a European Green Gender Observatory.

Formally the European Greens–European Free Alliance in the European Parliament is also an independent organization with official ties to the EGP.

See also



Notes and references

External links




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