Party of the Month
Here we present every month one of our parties. This month's "party of the month" is Erakond Eestimaa Rohelised, the Estonian Green Party. General elections take place on 6 March in Estonia, so it is a perfect time to take a closer look at the Estonian Greens.
On aeg! (It is time!)
To the polls, people of Estonia
Currently the Estonian Greens are campaigning for the parliamentary elections that take place on 6 March. All the 101 seats of the unicameral parliament of Estonia, the Riigikogu , are open for election. The 101 members of parliament are elected in 12 electoral districts by proportional representation.
From 0% tot 7,1% in 4 months time
The current Green Party of Estonia entered the parliament after the elections in 2007. The Greens managed to pass the 5% threshold, which was an exceptional performance since the elections took place only 4 months after the founding of the party. The party was involved in coalition negotiations, but ended up in the opposition. The party showed a constructive attitude in the opposition.
Green and open minded
A manifesto, written together with 40 opinion leaders in Estonia, spelled out a vision and the need to modify the current political landscape of Estonia. A freer, more diverse and more vigorous debate, creating opportunities for people not active in political parties to participate in democracy. The Green Party has the goal to be a sustainable factor in the political landscape of Estonia that is not driven by short term politics, but that has a wider vision of society.
Greens will be Greens, and so are the first ones to set the example. The Estonia Greens decide to go to elections with open lists. Everyone (members and not-members) was free to apply for a place on the Green list. The party wants to represent people of all layers of society, and therefore the Green list will include the most diverse collection of people the 6 March .
To come out with this project, the party adopted the name Eestimaa Rohelised ja Vabad Kodanikud , the Estonian Green Party and the Free Citizens.
Ambition for Estonia
Consequently the Estonian Greens and Free Citizens have written an ambitious election programme that includes the voices of all Estonian people. The Estonian Greens want an open, democratic and modern society.
The Estonian Greens want to reform the Estonian economy into a Green and efficient economy, made for the 21st century and long after.
One of the pillars of this economy should be the social policy. The Greens want to expand the care for children and the elderly because quality of life is a right to everyone.
Also the modernization of the educational system is on the 'to do list' of the Estonian Greens, this with the goal to lower the unemployment rate among young people. The world's best, most efficient and most flexible education system is also a goal.
Last but not least, the Estonian Greens want a better preservation of the natural richness of Estonia.
The Estonian Green Party, how it all started
Erakond Eestimaa Rohelised arose from the Estonian Green Party (EPP), which was formed in 1989, so when Estonia was not independent yet. This party gained a great success because of the exploitation of the phosphorus of the northern part of Estonia. The Greens even had a minister for a while. The predecessor of the current Green party became the member of the Coordination of European Green Parties, the forerunner of the European Green Party, in the 1989.
A split within the party occurred in 1989, this weakened the party. In 1992 the party obtained only one seat in the first parliamentary elections in the post-soviet era of the county. The registration of the party was canceled in 1998 and thus it was not allowed to run for elections anymore.
In 2006 a group of highly motived and idealistic people that wanted to change Estonia, recruited about 1500 members for the Green Party Initiative Group to register as a political party under Estonian law, opening the door to run at the 2007 parliament elections. These elections were a great success for the newly established party, it obtained 7,1% of the votes and 6 seats in the 101 seats parliament.
The main aims of new-established Green Party of Estonia were the protection of Estonia’s forests, seas and other resources, the combat against the climatic changes, the promotion of direct democracy, and to support innovative fiscal policies.
Facts & Figures
Founded in: 2007
Party Spokesperson: Aleksei Lotman
Last elections results: 7,1% - 6 seats out of 101 (general elections, 2007)
2,7% - no seats (European elections, 2009)
The Estonian Green Party on the net
Copyright pictures: Eestimaa Rohelised