From 3-5 June 2022, Green leaders from across Europe gathered to tackle the pressing issues of today. Facing war on the continent, managing a pandemic, fighting the rise of autocracy and attempting to avert climate catastrophe is a tall task this year. But the Greens are committed to fighting for democracy, freedom, equality, sovereignty, wellbeing and a sustainable future for all!
The 35th European Green Party Council took place in the capital city of Latvia, a country sharing a land border with the Russian Federation. The Greens tackled pressing questions on the just transition and defence and security policy considering Putin's war in Ukraine, such as welcoming refugees, the Green transition, cybersecurity and disinformation, as well as the evolution of the NATO alliance.
In view of the upcoming European parliament elections in 2024, Greens discussed our approach towards transnational lists and elected a new committee who will lead our upcoming campaign! We welcomed new candidate member parties Sustainable Initiative (Hållbart Initiativ) from the Åland Islands and the Progressives (Progresīvie) from Latvia. Green delegates also adopted 5 resolutions, on topics such as the war in Ukraine, foreign relations and security policy, and the just transition.
🌻 Hållbart Initiativ and @Progresivie have been elected as our newest member parties by delegates at #EGP35 in Riga!— European Greens (@europeangreens) June 5, 2022
💚 Welcome to the Green political family! We look forward to working with you to fight for democracy & social and ecological justice in Europe. pic.twitter.com/NStvfi0xOT
Greens also tackled other vital issues for the Green family, such as enhancing our local councillors network, and building a truly Green and inclusive feminism! Furthermore, we held cultural events, such as The Green Screen film screening of 'My Favorite War' (2020) and a debate on memory politics at the cinema Splendid Palace!
🎥 “In the Latvian state archive there were just happy children (...) and it’s not how I felt – I felt stiffness, fear, obligation and suppression. I had to make an animation because I needed my emotional memory.” - Director @IlzeBJ on her film My Favorite War at #EGP35. pic.twitter.com/Cn8T0FeilQ— European Greens (@europeangreens) June 2, 2022
New Secretary-General, Co-Chairs and Committee
As of this Sunday, we have new leadership! Congratulations to Co-Chairs Thomas Waitz and Mélanie Vogel, Secretary General Benedetta De Marte, as well as Treasurer Ute Michel, and finally Committee Members Vula Tsetsi, Sybille Steffan, Malgorzata Tracz, Rasmus Nordqvist, and Mina Jack Tolu. They will contribute to our Green mission of creating a just and sustainable future for all, as well as prepare the European Green Party for the next European elections.
🎉 Congratulations to our newly elected Co-Chairs @thomaswaitz & @Melanie_Vogel_!— European Greens (@europeangreens) June 5, 2022
👏 We also welcome new Secretary-General @BenniDeMarte, as Treasurer @UteMichelPY, & Committee Members @Vula_Tsetsi, @FrauSibylle, @GoTracz, @rasmusnordqvist, and @mina_tolu. pic.twitter.com/LvN1X2pdJn
We also said our farewells to beloved members of our political family, including Co-Chair Evelyne Huytebroeck, Secretary-General Mar Garcia, and Committee Members Michal Berg, Jean Lambert, and Oras Tynkkynen who are outgoing members of the committee of the European Greens. We thank them for their incredible work driving the Green wave in Europe and supporting the Green vision and wish them luck for the future!
Greens tackle Energy, Security and Foreign Relations
We are in a critical moment. Putin's invasion of Ukraine has been unequivocally condemned by the Green family, and the Greens are committed to doing our utmost to stand with the people of Ukraine. Indeed, the threat that Putin's war poses to freedom, peace and democracy in Europe must not be underestimated. Europe has also still not recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic and its socio-economic impact, which has driven further inequality. Meanwhile, Earth remains in 'code red' as we are currently on track for 2.7°C of global warming by the end of the century.
At the Opening Speech of the Council, Co-Chairs Thomas Waitz and Evelyne Huytebroeck, as well as the Co-Chair of Progresīvie Antoņina Ņenaševa, emphasised these security, climate and social crises that we face today. To ensure our peace and security, Greens are prepared to make pragmatic choices now whilst also working towards our long-term vision for the future of Europe. Our plans include establishing energy independence, massively investing in renewables, enhancing our energy efficiency, and saving to ensure energy for all. At the same time, our fight against climate catastrophe and for social and climate justice must continue to be at the forefront of our priorities.
Keynote speakers Dritan Abazović, Prime Minister of Montenegro, Anna Lührmann, Minister of State for Europe and Climate at the Foreign Ministry of Germany, and Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Commissioner of Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, highlighted the need to both support Ukraine and continue our work towards an accelerated Green transition to secure a peaceful and sustainable future.
"Climate security is about ensuring we live on a planet that isn't burning. The ongoing climate crisis does not stop because of war. We already see heatwaves, floods & other climate catastrophes. Unfortunately this is only the beginning if we don’t act now." - @AnnaLuehrmann 🌍— European Greens (@europeangreens) June 3, 2022
At #EGP35, @VSinkevicius sends a reminder: “A breaking point is approaching. And there is no turning back. Some might say that for all these reasons, this is not the time for transition. I completely disagree. It’s the best time of all.” ⏱️⏱️⏱️⏱️— European Greens (@europeangreens) June 4, 2022
Plenary I: The future of European security and defence policy in light of Putin's war against Ukraine
At our plenary on the future of European security and defence policy, panellists reflected on the geopolitical consequences of the war in Ukraine and the role of the EU, including on European Security and Defence Policy, refugee policy, the evolution of NATO, and the energy transition. Maria Kurinna, International Advocacy Manager from the ZMINA, expressed concerns about Russia not only suppressing civil society in occupied territories but also aiming to "wipe out Ukrainian civil society." The role of fossil fuels in fuelling the conflict and climate crisis was a major topic. To tackle the impacts of the war on energy, panellists reflected on green solutions such as renewable energy, energy democratisation, investing in infrastructure, investing into local food production, and replacing oil gas and coal.<
Plenary II: Building a Green Future: A Just Transition in a Time of Crisis
In our plenary 'Building a Green Future: A Just Transition in a Time of Crisis', panellists spoke on the energy crisis and how a just transition can secure the wellbeing of the people and the planet. Ernest Urtasun, Green MEP, advocated for establishing a windfall tax to ensure a just transition, especially considering rising energy prices and increasing socio-economic inequality. Ricarda Lang, Co-chair of Bündnis 90/Die Grünen and Member of the German Bundestag, highlighted that since the Greens have joined the coalition government, they have supported initiatives like cheaper public transport, and raising the minimum wage, as well as setting a new precedent for cooperation on the European level.
Building a truly Green and inclusive feminism
Our Trans-Inclusive Feminist Campaign held a safe space for the Green family to discuss the opportunities and challenges of building truly Green and inclusive feminism. In these challenging times for Europe as the Union built on values of solidarity, peace, and democracy, we need to make sure to keep on pushing for more rights and equality for all women and the LGBTI communities. After adopting the resolution 'Trans Rights Here! Trans Rights Now!' in 2020, the Greens have committed to amplifying trans voices and supporting trans demands.
Trans Rights are Human Rights.— Terry Reintke (@TerryReintke) June 3, 2022
We fight for trans-inclusive Feminism - all across Europe.
We stand together against an authoritarian backlash.
For a Europe where everyone can be who they are and love who they love.
See you at the 6th European Green Party Congress!
More than ever, the Greens have an opportunity to provide solutions to the current triple crisis of the pandemic, war in Ukraine and climate emergency and to shape the future of a more democratic, fair, and united Europe. Throughout this Council, we have renewed our drive to fight for a just transition for all and bring together new energies and approaches towards new successes.
We are happy to announce that we will once again reunite at the 6th European Green Party Congress, being held in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 2-4 December 2022.