Meeting Greens in Croatia and Slovenia was full of energy – quite literally. When the European Greens visited the local parties ORaH and SMS in July, thunder and lightning descended upon the two capitals of Zagreb and Ljubljana. Our arrival was even delayed by almost a day because of lightning hitting a plane.
Oras Tynkkynen from the European Green Party (EGP) Committee and Vesna Jusup from the EGP office first met with Croatian colleagues in Zagreb. The Croatian Greens, Održivi Razvoj Hrvatske (ORaH), was represented by the party leader Luka Keller, Vedran Bajsić and Slaven Končić.
Despite the summer heat, ORaH is busy gearing up for the parliamentary elections in September. The political landscape is polarised into two camps: the old right and old left, which provides both a challenge and an opportunity: there is room for a third political option based on social justice, environmental sustainability and respect for human rights.
ORaH is currently working on fielding candidates and considering allies for a coalition, to overcome the relatively high election threshold. Oras and Vesna were happy to see a realistic plan and promising ideas to get a good result in September and building upon that in the coming years.
In Slovenia, the tour hit two cities, Maribor and the capital Ljubljana. The European Greens visitors were welcomed by Igor Jurišič, Robert Križanič and Donald Keranovič from Stranka mladih - zeleni Evrope (SMS).
Slovenia still has two years before two elections will take place, parliamentary and local. This is a great scenario for SMS as it gives them two years to strengthen their local chapters, build networks and identify promising candidates.
As in many other countries, many Slovenians feel alienated by mainstream politics. Showing that Green policies provide an alternative to both business as usual as well as divisive populism, Oras and Vesna believe SMS can help in regaining people’s trust in democracy.
The European Greens are strongly committed to supporting our member parties in Croatia and Slovenia. By working together and learning from each other we can build Greener societies across the Balkans and Europe.