As you know, the next Council meeting in Lyon will be the occasion to elect the next EGP Committee; I am candidate for the post of co-chair of the European Green Party for the third (and last!) time. If I look back at the last six years, I think that together with Philippe Lamberts, Reinhard Buetikofer, Jacqueline Cremers, Mar Garcia and the rest of the team, we achieved some major goals we had set for ourselves.
We did make the EGP more of a collective project able to be perceived as useful and relevant for its members, notably in terms of the quality of the elaboration of the proposals and of political and organisational support. EGP lives and gets its purpose from the relevance its members give to it. I have the impression that few people by now think that EGP is an empty structure in Brussels. In the past years, I was very much involved in making the work of our European party more concrete and visible and I took an active part in making this common project work, including by developing relations with the world outside, be it other political parties or civil society.
The Primaries and the common campaign for the EP election in 2014 put the EGP firmly on the landscape as an original and relevant actor in the bumpy development of a European political space; personally, I enjoyed very much the chance of directly participating to it, therebycontributing to diversify and enrich the “competition”.
But by far the achievement I am more proud of is to have worked to keep our political family united and cohesive, at a time in when new borders and divisions are been built and the temptation of finding scapegoats and enemies is strong for many politicians.
Of course, we have also experienced many difficulties in the past years. There are no doubts that for Greens these times of political, economic, social crisis in Europe meant a decrease of the appeal of our approach and we were not always able to be at the forefront of the deep changes that upset the landscape in some European countries, including my own. Despite the work done to make our economic and social policy proposals convincing, realistic, feasible and understandable, the Green New Deal is still finding hard to defeat old, “fossil” recipes.
The world outside is not easy, of course. The power is still rather firmly in the hands of the “austerity” front, even in countries like France and Italy, which are governed by self-named more progressive parties. The Commission and the EP, despite some weak “noises” in favour of a different approach, are not perceived as an effective help to people; they are struggling to keep their relevance in front of the increasingly dominant role of national leaders, themselves incapable of shaping any common strategy. The chances of a positive alternative are also being undermined by the ability of anti-European and nationalist forces to shape and determine the tone of the debate in many European countries; to achieve this result, they did not even need to win elections!
The main challenge for us in the next years is indeed to contribute, with our green approach, to reverse these tendencies, both nationally and at EU level.
In the next four years, we will need to continue working in a more and more inclusive way on the contents of our common proposals; we will have to go deeper on the issue of migration; we will have to develop a more convincing narrative on why new borders and walls are not a solution to insecurity; we will need to counter the simplistic yet successful messages, which use fears and anger to undermine even human compassion. I want to work with you to re-launch the battle for “another” Europe, beyond the traditional institutional debate; and to refine our message on the Green New Deal, work even more professionally and widely to make all parties profit and feel part of campaigns such as Climate change and TTIP.
But good proposals are not enough, if we are not able to gather enough consensus to put them in practice. Most of all, I want to be part of a renewed effort to mobilise and enlarge the green and the progressive pro-change electorate and contribute to reverse the current black mood to a more green one; I want to help making the EU regain the meaning of an inspiring and useful project, far from the technocratic and ideologically biased system it is perceived to have become.
In other words, I would like to use my energy and experience to make Greens gain a more relevant and central stage in the current EU debate, for the strength and quality of their proposals but also for the capacity of gaining new audiences and of acting towards innovative alliances, notably in view of the 2019 elections; I intend to continue to play a role in assisting our member parties when they are in need of support and in motivating the stronger ones in favour of a EU wide green mobilisation.
Dear friends, not so many years ago some of our proposals were the domain of a little vanguard. Now, we can say that the debate around energy, urban organisation, food, industry, economic and social models, civil liberties and rights are deeply influenced by green minds. We have to keep up our ambition and give ourselves the means to continue being game-changers.
I am aware that this is not an easy task and that results are not immediate. I am very well placed to say that not always results materialize even when good effort and ideas are there. Still, and just because in these troublesome times so much is at stake, we need to renew and strengthen our efforts.
I hope I can count on your support to build together a stronger Green party and a better Europe.
Ciao e grazie!
Assistant in EGP office
GEF - Board member
Contact with other political families
Future of Europe
Member Parties - Countries
Candidate member parties
ECES - European Centre for Electoral Support
Monica Frassoni is President of ECES. The European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES) is a non-profit private foundation headquartered in Brussels with a global remit.
ECES promotes sustainable democratic development through the provision of advisory services, operational support and management of projects and large basket funds in favour of electoral processes. ECES works with all electoral stakeholders, including electoral management bodies, civil society organizations involved in civic & voter education and election observation, political parties and parliaments dealing with electoral reforms, media, security forces and legal institutions confronted with electoral dispute resolution. ECES holds the Vice Presidency of the European Partnership for Democracy (EPD, www.pd.eu).