On Sunday 15 December, the first Scandanavian Green Primary debate was held in Gothenburg, Sweden. It was watched by a live audience of enthusiastic Young Swedish Greens. This was a unique event where Contenders also debated three European candidates from Miljöpartiet de gröna, the Swedish Green party.
Ska Keller and Monica Frassoni were present. Rebecca Harms took part via Skype from the streets of Kiev, until she had to leave to deliver a speech to pro-European protesters. José Bové was unable to attend, because the French Green party's European list was being finalised at the same time. But, he appeared by video to wish his fellow Contenders luck and talk about how the Greens will change the direction the EU is taking in 2014. Isabella Lövin, Bodil Ceballos, Max Andersson, three inspiring Swedish Green candidates for the European elections also participated in the second part of the debate, which gave a new and interesting element to the debate. Their party stands at 11% nationally, according to latest polls.
In the first part of the debate Monica, Ska and Rebecca discussed the crucial topic of youth unemployment. Ska said that the frighteningly high rate of young jobless people all over the EU exacerbated by Europe spending too much money on useless things, like high-tech border control and big farmer's subsidies. She also said that young people should be much more involved in decision-making and sustainable jobs must be created with the help of EU funds. Monica pointed out that austerity and budget cuts are disastrous for job creation, and that the IT sector and the Green economy are key areas that Europe should be looking towards for job creation. Rebecca underlined the need for a common European approach to both job creation and the environment, that makes the most of micro-credits and the Green New Deal.
Contenders also debated how to continue the fight against climate change, after the uninspiring COP 19 Summit in Warsaw where very little progress was made. Ska claimed that the EU needs to side with the least developed countries, who suffer most. Monica said that we have to link our fight to protect the climate to job creation, in order to gain more support from society.
In the second part of the debate, Swedish candidates joined in to discuss the future of the EU, with a focus on migration. Max Andersson was of the opinion that the EU should open its borders for migrants. Bodil Ceballos emphasised that to tackle migration, Brussels needs to work on a much more global level on poverty reduction and peacekeeping. Green MEP Isabella Lövin agreed, saying that we must help underdeveloped countries to cope with their problems relating to the ammount of migration they face. Ska Keller’s view was that the EU must do more on resettlement and stop outsourcing border control. According to Monica Frassoni must create more legal ways of entry, so less irregular migration and less tragedies will happen.
The end of the debate shifted to the upcoming European elections. Ska Keller warned that Greens need to create a sense of urgency and live the change they talk about. Monica Frassoni underlined that all Green generations must work together to be successful.
The moderators kept a strict time regime to make sure the event was really engaging. Throughout the debate, audience members could submit questions in person. People also had a chance to speed date with participants and ask them their most burning question.
On Wednesday December 18, the EGP and EQUO, the Spanish Green party, are holding a debate with Green Primary Contenders in Madrid. You can follow the debate online at greenprimary.europeangreens.eu.