Europe is facing an unprecedented increase in unequal distribution of social welfare in the last ten years. Effects of neo-liberalism are the rise of unemployment and a dramatic increase in the number of persons threatened by or already living in poverty.
In addition this has resulted in a loss of quality of life and environmental degradation.
The main burden of this development has to be carried by the cities.
80% of the EU-population live in cities and urban areas. Urban politics are more and more linked to decisions on the European level.
Recognizing the growing importance of cities in the European Union the European Greens support the achievement of the following goals in the future:
- A stronger network building between the cities and an increase in the number of cross border co-operation projects, especially with the new member states and the accession countries.
- Financial and structural power of cities in order to provide good services for people.
- Guaranteeing equal access to the various services for the public. No deregulation of public services; public control and transparency of companies that serve public needs. STOP GATS!
- A social European Union, working towards full employment and social security for atypical employment.
- An active gender equality policy towards women on all political levels and in public services.
- Shorter working time and a fair distribution of working time.
- Urban democracy: “City-citizenship“ (voting right on the city level for non-EU citizens), right to vote for young people from 16 years on, proportional electoral systems, local referenda on district level, participatory budgets, more direct participation of citizens.
- Use of open source and free software by city administrations.
- Establish cultural policy that emphasises contemporary art practice and cultural diversity.
- Fight against poverty and homelessness, initiatives for providing low cost housing by the cities, social diversification to prevent the emergence of ghettos and slums, job opportunities and health insurance also for “sans papiers“, promotion of campaigns against xenophobia.
- Providing free non-commercial spaces for activities of young people.
- Ecological procurement in all fields where the city administration exerts demand – e.g. organic food for schools, kindergartens, hospitals, etc., use of fair trade products.
- Effective protection of green and recreational areas, legal measures (e.g. zoning) against urban sprawl.
- Waste reduction and separation, phasing out of incineration as a mid-term goal, economical drinking water management.
- Developing anti-nuclear campaigns on the local level, e.g. for nuclear-free cities.
- Participation of cities in Agenda 21 programmes, including concepts for energy saving measures and implementation of renewable sources of energy.
- Stop of zoning for large shopping centres – support for small and local enterprises, taxation of benefits resulting from zoning changes.
- Promotion of environmentally-friendly modes of transport (walking, cycling, public transport) and of car-sharing, creation of more public space for pedestrians.
- Reduction of car-traffic through parking management, city tolls, stop of subsidies for garage building and stop of motorway construction.
The European Greens will take efforts to improve the networking of their local groups and councillors in order to achieve those goals.
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