Plenary session "Meet Groen" during 28th EGP Council in Antwerp, Saturday, 19 May, 10.30-11.30
Groen representatives will give a short presentation of the history and the current position of the party in Belgium’s political landscape, and highlight aims set jointly by the Greens from Ecolo and Groen for Brussels, which is unique in Belgian politics.
There will be a presentation on the functioning of the EU network which feeds ideas and positions on European and local green politics within Groen. During the session, local achievements in Ghent will be presented, including a local circulation plan and diversity in schools.
The Groen’s evolution in communications over the last couple of years will be presented, including innovative and participative formats for their events, renewed communication channels and a digital campaign the party will run for the first time in its history.
Bart Staes, MEP, Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament, Belgium
Bart Staes is a Belgian politician and as from 1999 a Member of the European Parliament for the Flemish Greens (Belgium). He is a member of Groen, which is one of the 32 members of the European Green Party, and his roots are based in environmental and peace movements. He is very active on food and agriculture related issues in the Committee of Environment, Public Health and Food Safety. Bart Staes is currently also Vice-Chair of the Committee on Budgetary Control.
Bart Staes graduated as a teacher of Dutch, English, and economics and is the author of several books on the illegal use of growth promoters in livestock, on the GMO issue, and on social and financial topics.
Saraswati Matthieu, Ghent councillor, secretary of the Groen-Ecolo group in Brussels Parliament, Belgium
Saraswati Matthieu has held multiple positions within the Flemish Green party Groen, on youth, local, national and European level. She is the former chief of the general politics team at the cabinet of Brussels Mobility Minister Bruno De Lille. Sara has built expertise in fields such as environment, mobility, energy and economics. She is a city councilor in Ghent, where Greens are part of the majority. Saraswati Matthieu has been a member of the European Green Party Committee from 2012 to 2015. Currently she is a political secretary of the Groen-Ecolo group in the Brussels parliament and the president of the EU-network of Groen.
Arnaud Verstraete, Member of Brussels Parliament, Belgium
Arnaud Verstraete followed his heart when coming to Brussels. Latterly, but afterwards he felt in love with the city itself. Today, he wants to convince as many people as possible of the assets of the capital 'Bruxelles, ma belle’.
He started his career as a civil servant at the federal government, in the field of international aid and development. Later, he worked for the Flemish government, in the field of mobility. In 2009, he became a policy advisor in the cabinet of state secretary for Groen in Brussels, Bruno De Lille, where he was responsible for the policy on mobility.
Today, he is member of the Brussels parliament, known for his innovative proposals for the future of this city. He advocates fair politics and recently draw a lot of attention with some concrete cases in Brussels (Samusocial and Eurostadion). He lives with his wife and 2 young kids in Schaarbeek.
Elke Decruynaere, local councillor in Ghent, Belgium
Elke was born in 1981 in Aalbeke, a tiny Flemish village. As a high school student, she co-founded the Vlaamse Scholierenkoepel (Flemish Pupils Council). Elke strongly believed, and still does, that children and teenagers should actively participate in politics and decision-making. At eighteen, she became a member of Agalev (the green party, today Groen). Two years later she joined the national party committee.
She has been a member of the Ghent city council since 2006. After the elections of 2012, she left her job and became alderwoman, responsible for Education, Training and Youth.
Her ambiton: to make Ghent the most child-friendly city of Belgium, not only for her own son and daughter, but for all children.
To accomplish this, she strives towards:
|Jonas Dutordoir, Groen spokesperson and head of communication, Belgium|