Greens to organise first open pan-European online primary for EU 2014 election.
In light of declining public support for the European Union, the European Green Party (EGP) has launched an ambitious plan to revive European democracy. In a first for a European political party, the Greens will invite citizens to participate in a pan-European online primary, to select two Green leading candidates for the 2014 European elections.
The Greens were the first European Party to run a common European election campaign in 2004. For the 2014 European Union elections, the Greens are going a step further in Europeanising their campaign by involving citizens in a process that has formerly taken place behind closed doors. They are unique in opening up this process - other European parties will choose their leading candidates through internal procedures.
Monica Frassoni, EGP Co-Chair, says:
“By engaging European citizens in the election of our leading candidates, we offer the kind of participatory tool that is vital to reconnect citizens to the European Union. Should the opportunity arise, we’d propose one of the two leading candidates as our candidate for the European Commission President. Our open primary is a powerful tool to mobilise people for the European elections at an early stage that will also help to close the gap between citizens and EU institutions.”
At the party's Council meeting in Madrid last weekend, Green party members from across Europe voted in favour of running the Greens’ third pan-European election campaign. The common campaign aims to get more votes, more Green MEPs and build a stronger European Green family. It includes a European manifesto, a personalisation strategy, events that focus on specific regions such as the Danube, and transnational events such as debates in major European capitals.
Reinhard Bütikofer, EGP Co-Chair, says:
“Our personalisation strategy, and in particular the open primary, is an important step towards a common European political space where important decisions are not only discussed within the confines of national debates but on an open democratic European stage. Our leading candidates will be the European faces and voices of our campaign. They will make European issues heard where in the past European elections had all to often been dominated by national or regional issues."
The online primaries will be held between mid-January and mid-February 2014. European citizens from 16 and above, who are Green sympathisers, will be eligible to vote in the primaries.