EGP Report of Activities 2011
We, the Greens, are the only political family that offers an answer to the ecological, financial, and social crisis. Greens all over Europe, and across the world, propose progressive and sustainable solutions for the current crisis. We promote international solidarity and democracy to achieve a sustainable and just world.
We are proud to present our report on the activities of 2011. It has been a busy year! With a lot of activities, meetings, policy development, the Paris Congress and further improvements towards a more efficient organisation and the preparations for a better communication structure.
2011 saw the further deepening of the economic and financial crisis and cracks in the construction of the Eurozone became more and more visible. Moreover, to the surprise of many, the trust in the European Union as such suddenly appeared less solid than seemed possible. Early spring confronted us with yet another nuclear catastrophe, this time in Fukushima, Japan, and in only a little bit later that spring we remembered the victims of the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl 25 years ago.
The political climate has been challenging, the election results throughout the year saw a steady support for Green Parties, but on the other hand the electorate opted for more extreme politics, and nationalism emerged once again as a powerful theme in electoral campaigns. The economic and financial crisis makes it even harder for European politics to realise a social and green transformation in society, a switch that is needed now more than ever.
In 2011 we continued developing new tools to provide better support to our Member parties. Our second priority for 2011 was the improvement of communications (including our infrastructure) and outreach towards media and civil society. Furthermore, we have started and will continue to work, on a more systematic exchange of best practices and prepare the organisation to be ready for the challenges ahead. We also kept working towards the realisation of the aims and goals expressed in our mission statement, paving the way to what we want to achieve for 2014.
We have made a separate document on the latest developments of the Horizon 2014 project. We would like to continue, together with our partners from GEF and the Green Group, to strengthen several partners and initiatives that are part of the project. We will review the current parties/countries within the project in the beginning of 2012, and will evaluate if any other partners should take part and if continued action is necessary.
We have made a huge effort in 2011 to build up a better structure for our communication. We have invested in more human resources and have started the project to renew our IT systems, the database and its management system and a new website. On top of this we started building a system that not only allows us to relate to our working groups and networks, but will also allow them to better communicate within the groups. We will finalise all preparatory work in the course of 2012.
Future of the EGP
We have adopted new Statutes and a Rule Book in Paris in November 2011. Besides the implementation of our new rules and work on the conciliation panel, a donation policy, we will have to devote some time and work to a follow up working group that will reflect on consequences for our Statutes, standing orders and/or financial management. Further we will start in 2012 the review process for membership in view of the new membership categories.
Council and Congress
We have organised a spring Council in Budapest in successful cooperation with the Green Group in the European Parliament and an autumn Congress in Paris in excellent cooperation with the French Greens. Both meetings succeeded to strengthen the ties with these partners and learn and exchange the way they work and perform on the political and public arena’s of their respective countries.
Applications and relations with members
We remain attractive as a political family; we continue to receive membership applications. Besides formal applications we try to establish contacts with several Green parties and movements that might grow into parties at a certain moment. In the context of the membership application as well as to upkeep the relationships with our member parties we have organised fact finding missions and visits to Croatia, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Greece, France, Italy, Turkey, Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, Lithuania and Belarus.
After the disaster in Fukushima we have stepped up the anti-nuclear campaigns throughout Europe. Together with our member parties we managed some cross border initiatives and regional activities.
Electoral and campaign trends
We have kept a close eye on the election results and campaign strategies and have reported on these to our partners.
Further development of a Green political agenda
We have dedicated resources to the further development of the political agenda of the European Green Party and have adopted part of the Social Policy of the Green New Deal, furthermore we have started work on the policy paper on the Agricultural dimension of the Green New Deal. In view of the economic crisis we have adopted the Paris Declaration, where we have formulated our proposals to transcend the crisis and how to arrive at a sustainable financial and economic Europe. We furthermore formulated what needs to change to make Europe function as a real economic union in a democratic way while involving citizens into the decisions that are now taken over their heads and without proper democratic control.
We further adopted a policy development resolution in Paris that identified several issues where further policy development is needed in view of the preparations of the election manifesto in 2013.
People are at the heart of Green politics. Our project to reach out to as many as possible has materialised in the friends network. As of the installation of the new website we will be able to reach out to individuals, but more important to maintain and upkeep a relationship with them.
Further we have spent time in defining how we can best support our politicians best when it comes to knowledge sharing and networking.
The EGP Staff
Not much would work without them. Our dedicated staff, but also the people who help us on a voluntary basis, external consultants, politicians and professionals of our member parties, they all contribute with commitment and dedication to the further development of the European Green Party.
In Paris we finalised our ‘Fit for the Future’ project, which allows us to now start to work on a permanent staff and professionalise human resource management. We have called for the position of Office Director to begin this process. We furthermore changed the function of the press officer and found a senior media and communications consultant to help us build our communications.
We have launched the local councillors best practices website at the 4th local councillors meeting in Berlin. We hope to develop this tool further to be able to show successes and best practices from and for local councillors. Headed as a separate project, since not possible to integrate with the old site, we will integrate the project into the new EGP website. In our activities plan for 2012 we express a priority for the local councillors network.
We have contributed to the second Green Summer University. We focused our contribution on workshops and trainings. We managed to reach out to many people and had relevant press and Internet coverage. The meeting was very successful, as regards a laboratory for new ideas and an exchange platform. However in our evaluation we noted that in the coming years we must match the better allocation of human and financial resources in relation to those who benefit from the effort.
We have organised several meetings and one short program to young professionals from all over Europe who are interested in Green politics. A specific Green political training which focussed on networking and on the tools that a politician needs. The program will focus on political content, on campaign strategies, and on the art of political debate.
The presence of FYEG in our office and the presence of one of the Co-Spokesperson at Committee meetings is beneficial towards the ongoing strong cooperation and exchange of information that we have with FYEG.
Global Greens Coordination
2011 largely focused on the preparation of the Global Greens Congress in Spring 2012 in Dakar, Senegal. We employed a staff member and Committee members Steve Emmott and Jacqueline Cremers were highly involved with the administrative and organisational preparation.
Working groups and Networks
Part of the ‘Fit for Future’ aims was to arrive at a better structure for our networks and working groups. We have established network and working group rules, which now have to send in a working programme and a budget. We have approved in Paris a more regional approach for example the Balkan region.
We are on our way and ready to start focussing on 2014
We have made good progress in 2011 to transform our working organisation into a larger professional working structure and to adapt our growing organisation to a better structure with rules and regulations that fit it. This should enable us in view of the next 2 1⁄2 years in the run up of the 2014 elections to provide the support towards our parties and partners for a successful European election campaign.