In 2009, the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the Green European Foundation collated the ambitions of newly elected Green Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) in a yearbook for the first time. This year the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the Green European Foundation have teamed up again to shed light on the ideas, dreams and wishes of Green MEPs and present civil society’s expectations of the Greens/EFA group. The articles and videos that make up this collection analyse the results of the elections to the European Parliament in different EU member states as well as the opportunities and challenges lying ahead to deliver on the green agenda.

The background against which the Green MEPs will be working over the coming years has changed a lot. A strong awareness for climate change, especially within the younger generations all across the EU, was one reason for the Greens’ great leap forward, as the voters trust them over all others to set in train solutions to climate change. Green parties have exceeded expectations in countries such as Germany, France, Ireland, Denmark, Finland and Austria and will play an ever more important role in shaping the political debate across Europe over the coming years.

Climate protection has finally made it onto the political agenda as a priority and this will create opportunities in the forthcoming legislative period to promote other political fields connected to climate protection within the Parliament, such as a sustainable EU agriculture policy, responsible EU budgetary planning, future-oriented mobility and a fair trade policy. But the Greens are more than just the “climate party”. As the Green Spitzenkandidaten team Ska Keller and Bas Eickhout have pointed out, the priorities of their group in the new Parliament will be to work, alongside climate protection, for more and better Europe in the areas of social justice and the rule of law.

The Greens/EFA group has grown significantly in size and holds more seats than ever before in the European Parliament. How can they take advantage of their increased influence to implement urgent changes in various policy fields over the next five years? How can they cooperate with civil society and grassroots movements to come up with successful policy approaches to the difficult tasks ahead?

Find out more and discuss the ideas explored to make a green future happen!

 

Eva van de Rakt Head of Office, Heinrich Böll Foundation European Union, Brussels

Aurélie Maréchal Director, Green European Foundation

Brussels, July 2019

 

 


Meet the fresh faces of the European Parliament

 

 


 

 

Kira Peter Hansen

SF, Denmark

Meet Kira

Alex Phillips

Green Party, UK

Meet Alex

Pär Holmgren

Miljöpartiet de gröna, Sweden

Meet Pär

Anna Cavazzini

Die Grünen, Germany

Meet Anna

Gina Dowding

Green Party, UK

Meet Gina

Damien Careme

EELV | Europe Écologie – les Verts, France

Meet Damien

 


The Green Wave: A tsunami or just a storm in a teacup?

By Tobias Gerhard Schminke

On 22 May 2019, the second of four EU election days, an unexpected Green tsunami hit the shores of Ireland. After the polls had closed late in the evening, the RED C exit poll announced that 23% of first preference votes in Dublin and 12% of first preference votes in the rest of the country had gone to the usually almost insignificant Irish Green Party. That was more than double what the opinion polls had predicted – a significant electoral shock. Although the exit poll overestimated the party’s success that night, the Emerald Isle set the blueprint for what would happen in the following days on the continent: in Germany, GRÜNE replaced the centre-left SPD for the first time as the second-strongest party; Groen in Flanders, the Green League VIHR in Finland, Déi Gréng in Luxembourg and PAN in Portugal celebrated their best European election results ever.

The final overall outcome was more than 70 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) for the Greens/EFA group in the pre- and post-Brexit EU legislative. Europe Elects has crunched the numbers for this article and found that Greens/EFA skyrocketed in the popular vote from around seven and a half percent in 2014 to 11.7% EU-wide. The number of European citizens voting Greens/EFA in real numbers has almost doubled – from 12.1 million in 2014 to 23.3 million this year. The Greens/EFA group consists of different transnational parties, but the Greens in the European Green Party are the dominant formation: eighteen million of the votes for Greens/EFA stemmed from traditional Green parties, three million came from progressive regionalist EFA parties, one million from various Pirate parties, and just shy of half a million of these votes were from Volt Europa.

To return back to the marine metaphor, tsunamis can have several causes – submarine earthquakes, landslides or meteors. Moreover, tsunamis hit the shores of the mainland with different levels of intensity. In many cases, they can be predicted if data are recorded and interpreted correctly and carefully. Figuratively speaking, these conditions were also present for what has commonly been described as the “Green wave” in the European elections of 2019. Digging into exclusive data, the following analysis will focus on the historical context of the green wave and elaborate on its intensity in different regions and social groups in Europe.

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Federation of Young European Greens

The 2019 European election results were positively surprising, for a multitude of reasons. For one, the tendency of declining voter turnout at the European elections, a trend that we have observed since 1999, was reversed, as 50.62% of the EU electorate cast their ballots over the course of four days of elections.

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European Digital Rights (EDRi)

In some EU countries, such as Germany, the EU election results have been very encouraging. However, this does not mean that the new European Parliament is guaranteed to lay emphasise on protecting the fundamental rights.

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Corporate Europe Observatory

The election results were a real mixed bag. It is great to see a bigger Green group in the European Parliament, with the return of many allies and some new members, notwithstanding the loss of some important Greens from the previous Parliament who had challenged excessive corporate influence. The poor results of the GUE/NGL group also represent a real loss for the new Parliament.

Read More

 


 

PUBLISHED BY:  Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union & Green European Foundation

PLACE OF PUBLICATION: www.eu.boell.org & www.gef.eu

DATE OF PUBLICATION: July 2019

LICENSE: CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0

LANGUAGE OF PUBLICATION: English

CONCEPT & PRODUCTION: Gio Megreslishvili, Nora Weis, Violette Voyer & Zora Siebert

 

The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors alone. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the Green European Foundation or the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union.

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