Last weekend at the EGP Spring Council in Madrid, I was very impressed about how seriously and lively we discussed about involving citizens in our common Green European elections campaign. I believe we've decided upon a strong campaign strategy, that can reconnect citizens, increase participation and overcome the European elections’ image of being dull and unsexy.
A few hours before the European Green Party Spring Council kicks off, the NH Eurobuilding Hotel in Madrid turns slowly but surely into green. The printers are running hot, EGP staff and over 40 volunteers work on the last preparations, and delegates already meet, read, and discuss in the lobby.
BLOG: In 1989, the party scored just short of 15%. Under any intelligent electoral system, that would have given us at least 12 seats in the European Parliament (EP). What a difference 12 or more British Green MEPs would have made in Brussels and Strasbourg. They would have been the largest faction in the Green Group and would have certainly given the group a different political flavour. That would probably have influenced the future direction of the EGP, too.
Blog: Two of my close friends have recently lost their jobs. They are only two examples of what is happening, not just in Catalonia, but across Spain - and most certainly in Portugal and Greece. People are being kicked out of their jobs, deprived of a dignified way of earning their living, and in the end, of freely living their lives. Spain is in the middle of a crisis because the current government has failed to act on three key issues
All across Europe, unemployment is about about 11.8% . When I saw that figure, I actually thought, for a recession, that is not so terribly bad. I have seen it before and country's recover. Across Europe, about 23 million people are unemployed. Divide that by the 27 member countries and we all have about one million unemployed. Oh, if that were only the truth. If only misery was mathematically allotted.
Italians residing abroad will elect 12 deputies and six senators to the upcoming elections on February 24-25. This will be done by postal vote. Italian Voters living abroad will receive the ballot papers between February 6-10. Voters who have not yet received the ballot papers by February 10 should contact their Consulate. Once you have made your choice and preference in writing, the vote must be sent by mail to the Consulate by February 20.
We Greens value personal freedom as one of our main principles. We do not want a 'Big Brother' soceiety where the state controls you. Neither do we want an 'Every Brother' society where everyone controls everyone. That is the reason why data pivacy is top issue for us.
I went to Madrid, Spain, last week looking about the city in preparation for the EGP spring council in May. Then it was on to Budapest, Hungary, to discuss party politics. It was a two-pronged shock into the current economic reality facing wide streches of Europe.
The suicide of Aaron Swartz, 26, on Friday was something that caught me completely off guard. He was someone who was in the periphery of my awareness. He was an American facing a 35 year jail sentence for distributing academic information in bulk digital form. His accusers liked to refer to him as a hacker breaking into databases - the vague threat of danger that taints any digital rights action that runs contrary to government demands and is the equivalent of calling every criminal a terrorist. Both words are loaded with immediate prejudice.
Digital rights are going to return to the front pages again and again. I am actually quite grateful for Instagram and this misspeak. For 48 hours, there was the opportunity for digital rights to be discussed at just about any table in a way that everybody could understand. An infringement on digital rights caused outrage and anger and frustration across the spectrum. It has loosened the issue, made a space for discussion and to advance the more complex issues as we address the larger vision and the clear need for better guidance and control.
We want your photos, we want to show what you as Greens do all over Europe, and share it with our followers. Don’t worry about quality, lighting, aperture, filters, .RAW or .JPG. Just send us your Green photos, campaign images, or something that you captured with your phone on your way home from work.
There are laws for road traffic. There is an opportunity to do something to ease, if not stop, this situation. But, in all my years on the road, I have never seen a police officer indicate a reprimand to a car parked in a bike lane. Never seen a car stopped who has just almost knocked down a cyclist with their irresponsible behavior.
On November 25, Catalunya went to the polls for a general election and all of Spain and Catalunya watched. This would be the election that would define the future of the Catalan territory and people. Whether the federalists would remain the dominant force in the region or if the independent movement, the nationalists, would show its strength and presence.
In real terms, we pay less for food now than we've ever done, relative to income/GDP. The food industry has pushed the price of food down to breaking point by externalising costs all the way, reducing quality and nearly bankrupting suppliers. We have to ask ourselves whether we have got our food production and consumption patterns right.
Unlike the American leadership that seems, for now, to have cast aside their greenwash policies in favor or recovering the US economy as the first and foremost goal (read: at almost any cost), the Greens have called on Europe to pick up the mantle that has been so easily put down.
There is a fundamental gap in public understanding of information technology and potential. And the gap extends into legislation and legislative needs. There was no shortage of speakers demonstrating the contradiction of Europe, the European Union, so quick to advocate human rights and civil liberties while doing little to nothing to prevent the sale of technology that allows regimes to track online critics, violating liberties, often in the most violent forms.
I started to really enjoy the impact of politics when I began working for the then-Deputy Mayor for Environment in the city of Barcelona, Mrs. Imma Mayol. With her, the experience of a variety of different functions, let me see and enjoy how much influence can local politics have in people's daily lives - and how important it is as a tool for providing real autonomy, bonds and connections so we can live side by side.