23 November 2018
Commenting at the opening of the European Green Party Council that begins today in Berlin, co-chair Reinhard Bütikofer said:
“It is a exciting experience to welcome 500 people from 35 countries from all over Europe today. The last time we held a Council in Germany was back in 2002. Much has changed since then, but never have European Greens seen more support than today. At the same time there is an urgent need for a Green transformation of Europe. Recent electoral successes have enhanced the capacity within our Green family to deliver that change. Our goal for the European election is to move the political needle in a Green direction and to build a stronger group in the European Parliament than ever before.
“Here in Berlin, we will elect a leading candidate duo from among three outstanding contenders. They are the Flemish Senator Petra De Sutter, the Dutch MEP Bas Eickhout, and the German co-president of the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament Ska Keller. The winning duo will be the face of the Green force for change in Europe.
“Our European election manifesto will be debated and voted here in Berlin, also. The draft lays out in concrete terms our vision for a more equitable Europe based on sustainability, social inclusion, fairness, green transformation, strong democracy and rule of law. We represent the politics of courage and hope. We fight the politics of fear and hate. Our Green Priorities are our plan of action on how to build a better Europe by for instance phasing out coal by 2030 and moving to 100% renewables, ridding our food of dangerous chemicals, stopping arms exports to dangerous regimes, taking on vested interests and defending the rule of law and fundamental human rights.
"As we kick off our campaign for the European elections in May 2019, we shall do everything we can to make this vote as relevant and meaningful to citizens as possible. That includes following through with the leading candidate procedure. We want to fight for Green and progressive change in Europe. This change is possible, if citizens mobilize themselves as they have in Ireland and Poland, Germany and the UK, in Romania and the Netherlands and Belgium and Luxembourg and many other countries to win fights for social and environmental justice, for an inclusive democracy, for feminism, against corruption, against corporate cronyism, against right-wing extremism and against xenophobia. Greens are ready to be the voice of these fights."
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