The 33rd European Green Party (EGP) Council took place on 25-29 May and featured Annalena Baerbock, the Green candidate for the German Chancellorship, as well as Petra De Sutter, the Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium. It also brought together Green delegates from our member parties and partner organisations to decide on a joint political trajectory for the next period ahead.
Green delegates debated and voted on 11 resolutions. They featured a variety of crucial topics as we enter the summer months of 2021; including fair distribution of vaccines, the four-day work week, transnational lists, rail transport and the future of Europe.
Evelyne Huytebroeck noted during her speech that she was impressed about 'the different resolutions and topics discussed' at this Council: "I must also tell you how proud I am to be part of this Green European family. We are unique for this among political families in Europe." Mar Garcia also stated that: "we have been able to define, with a high level of consensus, the lines of action of the EGP for this new period."
Tabled by the European Green Party (EGP) Committee
A lack of past European reforms have exacerbated the health, economic and environmental crises we face today. We need more resilient and efficient economic sectors. Path breaking decisions such as the decision to issue a €750bn post-pandemic recovery fund show what we can achieve when there is the political will to do so. This resolution identifies the Conference on the Future of Europe as a key moment to strengthen the EU through instruments and competences that would make it fit to tackle economic inequality and environmental breakdown. This would include abolishing unanimity voting and ensuring an increased citizens participation in its decision-making.
Tabled by the EGP Committee
The European Greens have fought for the democratic future of Europe, campaigning for the creation of a joint European constituency for the European elections allowing citizens to vote for transnational lists. This resolution proposes to make these transnational lists a reality. They would allow European citizens from all countries to vote for candidates for the European Parliament independently from the country of origin of the candidates. They would also guarantee a more pan-European campaign and participate in building public debate at the European level.
Tabled by the Federation of Young European Greens (FYEG)
The European-wide lack of explicit consent in rape laws leads to disastrous consequences in cases where the survivor was not able to articulate their will. Europe needs to act on consent and against gender-based violence to protect and fulfil the rights of people in all their diversity*, especially for women and girls who are the most affected. Young green feminists came together to table this resolution, which calls for a new legal framework on rape.
EU politicians that have spoken out against atrocities committed against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang and the continued oppression of the democracy movement in Hong Kong are being sanctioned by China. This includes two members of parliaments, MEP Reinhard Bütikofer and Belgian MP Samuel Cogolati, that are part of our Green family. This resolution condemns China's brutality against its own citizens and its reckless international behaviours and proposes to respond to this escalation by taking joint action on EU's China policy to ensure that it upholds human rights and international rule of law.
Tabled by Verdes Equo (ES)
This resolution puts forward a shorter work week as a response to the urgent need to establish a new production model provoked by COVID-19. A shorter work week also addresses current challenges of digitisation and task automation. Introducing a 4-day/32h working week would be a step towards seeing the transformative change needed in our economies. Some of the benefits include: safeguarding the environment, better health, more gender equality and social cohesion, and enriching democracy.
The coronavirus pandemic has been raging around the world for a year and a half now and has highlighted vulnerabilities in our health systems. This topical resolution highlights the need for global solidarity rather than vaccine nationalism and addresses the need for fair distribution and global access to COVID-19 vaccines. A whole range of effective vaccines have been developed at a record pace, but they have yet been made available to the world population on a fair and equal basis.
Tabled by the EGP Committee
After a disappointing Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) due to industry lobbying, Green leaders are working to support policies that support small businesses, workers, and the environment. The Farm to Fork Strategy, proposed by the European Commission, is currently being debated and is at the heart of the European Green Deal. This resolution ensures that we keep the pressure within the European Union to commit to an ambitious Farm to Fork Strategy that should be enshrined in an ambitious common agricultural policy.
Tabled by the EGP Committee
In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the agreement to raise 750 billion euros together and invest it in the common cause of making our societies and economies resilient for the generations to come represents a triumph of unity and solidarity over competition and self-interest. The proposed demands in this resolution aim to ensure that Member States put these funds at the service of real ecological transformation and to remove the barriers to social cohesion.
Tabled by Socialistisk Folkeparti (DK)
This resolution aims to renew the European Greens position on rail in 2021. Besides being a necessary task, the transformation of the transport sector is also a chance to make mobility more just and democratic, and to make cities, countries and the EU more sustainable, healthy, and coherent, whilst creating new jobs. The resolution proposes several demands that aim to ensure good passenger rights, new green jobs, and deliver sustainable transport.
All over Europe, municipalities want to become 'smart cities', front-runners in the use of big data and smart information technologies. However, this resolution advocates that smart cities should not be an end in themselves, and that new digital technologies should be monitored and democratically controlled in order to make sure they do not deepen inequalities and erode the right to privacy. The resolution sets out 11 key features of responsible smart cities and enact several European policies in support of them.
On defending our fundamental rights in the face of biometric mass surveillance in public places in Europe
Tabled by the Green Group in the European Parliament (GGEP) Delegation
Throughout Europe, governments are experimenting with highly intrusive facial recognition systems and other biometric mass surveillance in public spaces. This resolution calls for the Commission to act on this as there is currently no European legislation that regulates the use of these technologies in public spaces.
Another step towards a better, greener and fairer Europe
Member parties will now fight to implement these policies in their respective member states, and the EU actors, including the European Green Party, Federation of Young European Greens, and the Greens/EFA group will push for these policies on a European level.
Having a united front on issues such as the importance of human rights at home and abroad, sustainable and fair agricultural policies, and greener and more efficient rail travel, will lead us to a better, greener and fairer Europe!