A resolution adopted at the 7th EGP Council meeting in Vienna, 12-14 October 2007.
The Green parties of Europe have chosen the continent as their working space. But their reference is the planet. Only at the global level climate problems can be solved, justice can be done, and policies for a balanced migration, fair trade and sustainable development should be designed.
In theory the European Green parties have understood this challenge. In 2001, they organized, together with the Green parties of other continents, the Global Greens Congress in which 70 parties participated and agreed upon a Global Green Charter. In 2006, in their new Charter, they wrote:
We must always think globally, even whilst acting locally. To ensure the highest level of citizens’ involvement and benefit, the authority to decide should be vested in the lowest effective level. Conversely, whenever a problem requires action on a higher level, the consequences for the lower levels should be taken into account and differences respected.
But these achievements are not enough. After the successful congress in 2001 some policy statements have been made and personal contacts been established, but without any structural follow-up. And whereas NGOs like Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Amnesty International or Via Campesina have been working on the planetary level for years, the Global Green organisation is still very weak, being dependent on a few volunteers per continent and hardly more than a phone line for material support.
For the EGP and its member parties the planetary dimension should be far more present, both in their messages to the voters and in their day-to-day policy. Therefore, cooperation with other global NGOs is crucial. The Global Green Congress in Sao Paolo in 2008, hardly a year before the European Green message will be evaluated in the European Parliament elections, is an excellent opportunity for a breakthrough. While continuing our current way of working it will end in the bronze medal of a fine statement upon which all agree. But a serious effort in globalizing the Green message might make our golden words come true.
Therefore the European Greens, meeting in Vienna, decide to
- launch a European team with global aspirations that develops an ambitious programme making Sao Paolo the beginning of a process instead of an aim in itself. This team works in close cooperation with as many parties with global ambitions as possible, both from Europe and from other continents and, where appropriate, involves NGOs, provided the latter are with respect to their functioning, guiding principles, and effective behaviour in accordance with the principles enshrined in the Global Green Charter
- this team will ensure an appropriate follow-up after Sao Paolo by investigating the possibilities for a permanent structure that is capable of developing common positions on issues like climate change, human rights, migration, poverty eradication and social justice, co-development and fair trade; of issuing policy statements whenever required; of forming alliances with NGOs and of developing mechanisms for mutual party support. A first proposal to ensure this follow-up needs to be drafted and voted upon in Sao Paolo, in order to ensure a maximum amount of legitimacy and democracy in the process and outcomes.