Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Green progress in Europe

This is the news release from the Greens' European grouping:

Great Result for European Greens strengthens GREENS/EFA Group by at least 10 Seats

The European Green Party has had an excellent result in the election to the European Parliament. A total of 46 Green MEPs have been elected, up from 35. The Greens/EFA Group is now likely to have 53 MEPS (46 Greens and 7 EFA MEPs), up from 43, although the exact formation of the Group is still to be confirmed

EGP Co-Spokesperson Philippe Lamberts, who has been elected a MEP for the Belgian French-speaking Green Party Ecolo, said: “To have increased the number of Green MEPs from 35 to 46 is a great success. Our showing is even more remarkable when you consider that we have 11 more seats than before in a parliament with 49 fewer MEPS and that all other groups have shrunk. Countries which deserve a special mention from our point of view include France where Europe-Ecologie obtained an amazing 16% of the national vote and so will have 14 MEPs and Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Finland which will all have more Green MEPs than last time round and Greece which now has its very first Green MEP (The Greek Greens’ campaign demonstrated European solidarity as an Austrian-Greek Green stood as a candidate to support the Greek party). What our 31% increase in seats proves beyond any shadow of a doubt is that the Greens are a major political force to be reckoned with and that we are gaining the trust of more and more voters, not only in our traditional areas like the environment and climate policy and human rights, but also economics and social policy. “

EGP Co-Spokesperson Ulrike Lunacek, who was also elected a MEP for the Austrian Greens, who maintained 2 seats despite an electoral atmosphere marred by rightwing populism, continued:” I would like to congratulate all Green parties and their members, candidates and workers for their hard work and to thank all the people who, as our slogan said, dared to “Think Big, Vote Green. We will fight hard on their behalf for a Green New Deal for Europe, which was at the heart of our common election campaign and obviously appealed to many voters, including many who had never voted Green before. The Green New Deal would not only create 5 million new Green-Collar jobs in 5 years but would also help fight climate change as 500 billion Euros of public and private funds would be invested in renewables, energy efficiency and other future-oriented technologies. While we are generally very pleased with our showing, we are very disappointed not to have made an electoral breakthrough in the EU’s new member states or in southern Europe, with the notable exception of Greece. From now until 2014, working hard with Greens in those countries will be our major priority so that we can ensure that voters in every EU member state have a viable option of sending a Green MEP to the Parliament.”

(Note - the EFA part of the Parliamentary grouping is composed of Regionalist and Left Civic Nationalist Parties including the SNP and Plaid Cymru.)

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