More than ever, it is clear that we need a transformation of our economies in Europe. Debt fueled consumption and infinite growth based on finite resources have brought us to the brink of disaster, and it is our responsibility to chart a path to a sustainable economy, environment and society.
To this end, GEF has expanded its work on the Green New Deal in 2011, publishing reports for the Greens/EFA group on transforming transport, funding the necessary investment in renewable energy and launching a new website for reports and best practice examples from the Green New Deal.
In promoting the Green New Deal, we worked closely with Green Members of the European Parliament, who are working hard to turn these ideas into legislation.
Creating a stronger and inclusive Europe
The problems facing Europe have resulted in rising tensions and a growing disillusionment with the European project. As a political movement that has always believed in cooperation at European level, the Greens can play a crucial role in promoting a vision of what the future of Europe should look like.
That begins with making sure that Europe can respond to the challenges that it faces. Towards the end of 2011, we kicked-off a project with the Heinrich Boell Stiftung entitled "Solidarity and Strength: The Future of the EU". The executive summary of this report is available in French, English and German, with further translations in 8 other languages before the New Year. This will form the basis for a series of debates in 2012 which will take place across the EU.
Helping you work with Europe
A lot of our work in 2011 focused on encouraging Europe's citizens to engage with shaping the future of the EU. We held a workshop which showed Green activists how the EU worked, and how they could work with it, and we launched a handy 10-step guide to the soon to be launched European Citizen's Initiative, which is available in German, English and French. We will continue our work with the ECI in 2012, launching a manual on the topic to coincide with its coming into force on the 1st of April. We also launched an updated edition of the GEF Manual for Europe, meant to explain to readers in an accessible format how the EU operates.
Continuing to grow, and continuing to reach new audiences
With increased resources this year, GEF was able to expand the size of its team, and so organise more events and launch new projects. While our main office is based in Brussels, we continue to focus on reaching as many Europeans as possible with events in their cities and countries, and this we will continue in 2012.