You can download the full text of the Common Manifesto 2014 in .pdf HERE
DEAR EUROPEAN CITIZEN,
We want to invite you to participate in the European Parliament elections on May 22nd-25th, 2014. And we want you to vote Green.
This year sees the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War and is 57 years after the Treaty of Rome marked the founding of what is now the European Union. European unification has freed the continent from centuries of antagonism and war. It has inspired the removal of dictatorships and authoritarian regimes. It has enabled the economic reconstruction of its member states in a spirit of social justice, and is making us a pioneer of environmental sustainability. Each enlargement has enriched our cultures, enabled us to recognise each other, making us all part of the same challenging project. There is no doubt about it that the building of the European Union has been an historic achievement.
EUROPE IS NOW AT THE CROSSROADS
We Greens believe that Europe is our common home and our future. Yet, that future is under threat. If the EU's achievements are to be preserved and enhanced, now is the time for a fundamental political reorientation and for a democratic renewal of the European Union. To safeguard our common future we want to change Europe to strengthen it. That is why we stand for more solidarity, sustainability and justice. If we give room to populism, nationalism or economic chauvinism, then no region, no country, no part of Europe will remain or become prosperous on its own. In a globalised world, it is only by acting together that we stand a chance of meeting the daunting social, environmental, economic and security challenges ahead. We need fair economic cooperation that respects our ecological responsibilities. We need solidarity within and between our nations. We need a strong democracy. We must live our values, upholding freedom and liberties domestically and internationally.
CRISIS CREATES ANXIETY AND ANGER – WE WANT TO BUILD HOPE AND SECURITY
Neo-liberal deregulation has created financial markets solely driven by short-term greed, resulting in the global financial crisis that is still with us today. The crisis has threatened or destroyed many social, democratic and economic achievements and as a consequence the concept of the European Union is now being challenged by a growing sense of frustration, fear, and even anger. The medicine of austerity that has been prescribed to countries in crisis for several years now has increased social division and injustice, jeopardised the well-being of many of our fellow citizens, undermined the capacity of our societies to prosper, and crucially, weakened democracy. Today, 25% of Europeans are at risk of poverty or social exclusion; 27 million are unemployed, including almost one in five young Europeans! The most fragile end up paying the heaviest price for the crisis. It is not surprising that this injustice is stirring fear and anger across our continent. Whilst we share that anger, we want to turn it into hope.
Our economic model is not sustainable. The environmental crisis persists. The continued failure to reach a global agreement at the climate conferences demonstrates how far we are from avoiding catastrophic climate change. Short-termism and the narrow interests of lobbyists continue to prevail. Europe is essential for building the more sustainable, democratic and equal society we are calling for. Think of it: taming the forces of financial markets and of global corporations, effectively fighting tax fraud and evasion, transforming Europe’s energy supply to combat runaway climate change. These are all examples of urgent actions that are beyond the capabilities of even the largest of our member states. We need cooperation within the EU to deal effectively with these issues.
The transformation we advocate must go hand in hand with a democratic re-foundation. We want a European Union that pioneers a more direct and participative democracy. Executive bodies such as the European Commission and Central Bank must be held accountable for their actions. The EU must be an effective multi-level democracy, respecting subsidiarity and making its diversity one if its best assets.
YOUR VOTE MATTERS – LET US FIGHT FOR A EUROPEAN ALTERNATIVE
We want you to join us in the fight for an economic, political and social transformation that will build future prosperity on the basis of sustainable development and a Green renaissance of our industry. With coherent and sustained policies, new investment and many Green jobs can be created, constituting good and decent work, equal pay, workers’ rights, increased economic mobility, regional development and better opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises or social businesses. We insist on a European energy policy which will mitigate climate change: Yes to renewables and energy efficiency; yes to phasing-out nuclear and coal and no to shale gas. All this is part of our Green New Deal.
Greens remain reliable advocates of environmental responsibility. Help us take a strong stance against those on the right or on the left and from the lobbies who want to block progress. We demand more sustainable agricultural policies and have played a strong role in reforming the EU´s fisheries policy. We advocate for more transparency and corporate responsibility. We have consistently promoted consumer and citizens' rights. Environmentalism is also a social responsibility. If the environment is destroyed, so is the basis of our economy and well-being.
Greens mobilise under the banner of social justice against social exclusion, of sustainability against austerity. We want to live our lives as people for whom security and opportunity are not just tales from yesteryear. Here, without doubt, the EU must change direction! We want to fight against youth unemployment, against homelessness, against poverty and hopelessness. Where member states individually refuse or fail to deliver, we can overcome that together as European citizens. Let us build social Europe.
We see individual emancipation, freedom and liberties for all as very much under threat. Think of private and state-organised mass surveillance or the infringement of human rights of minorities like immigrants, the LGBT+ community or the Roma. We must not toleratediscrimination based on any ground, such as sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other pretext. Gender equality is a fundamental principle of the European Union. There is however a huge gap between the recognition of a right, the legal progress achieved and its implementation. Greens support a dual approach for promoting gender equality and women's empowerment: gender main-streaming and clear and binding targets in order to achieve gender equality at all levels.
We need a digital bill of rights to guarantee our inherited liberties in the digital age. We helped defeat the'Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement' (ACTA), that threatened our freedom. We defended the right to water against privatisation pressure. Such fights touch on Europe's core values.
Greens want to re-vitalise European democracy which has been weakened by the strength of lobbies, by the narrow defence of their own interests by national governments, by the power given to technocrats without democratic oversight, and by the simplistic blame-game of populists. The European Parliament must be strengthened and given control over the policies which the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Central Bank pursue within the so-called troika. Citizens must be better heard and have a more active say through direct democracy. The EU must act wherever a common voice is needed, whilst not taking decisions further away from citizens. This includes pushing back against excessive lobbying. We also want more gender democracy: more women in Europe´s institutions and in the boardrooms of EU companies.
We should not shy away from sharing our sovereignty, where this is the only way of keeping it: as with the banking union, the financial transaction tax and the struggle for tax justice and against tax evasion and tax havens. The EU should pursue a policy of good neighbourliness on our borders and abroad. This includes sharing culture, having joint education projects, and means keeping the door on enlargement open. We promote global justice, fair trade, protecting human rights, civil conflict prevention and multilateral conflict solutions. Europe must be a fair haven for refugees, not a 'Fortress Europe'. A Europe of global responsibility benefits the world and ourselves.
IT IS YOUR CHOICE
As the directly elected voice of the European citizens, the European Parliament is the joint lawmaker, together with national governments, on topics that influence your daily lives, from workplace safety to innovation and new jobs, from consumer protection to environmental policy, from food safety and animal protection to data privacy to gender equity. It also helps finance local and regional projects for sustainable development and social inclusion.Greens make a difference in the European Parliament. We want to continue this with greater strength. For this we need your support, your vote.
Help change Europe, vote Green!