Irish Greens unite with European counterparts to fight high prices, climate emergency and neo-fascism
Thirty Green parties, including the Green Party of Ireland, today endorsed the European Green Party's common manifesto Courage to Change for the European elections on June 7. For one of the manifesto’s priorities, the Greens put the choice to the people through a participatory process called European Citizens’ Choice (citizenschoice.eu).
The manifesto was adopted by a vote of the 311 representatives of all Green parties active in Europe, at the European Greens Party congress in Lyon, France. 98.8% voted in favour. The vote on the manifesto and campaign priorities concluded a successful three-day European Green Party congress in Lyon, France, attended by more than 1,200 people including Irish Green Party leader Eamon Ryan as well as Ireland’s two Green MEPs and the party’s Midland North-West candidate.
Ireland South MEP Grace O’Sullivan said:
“This weekend we gathered in Lyon, France with more than a thousand delegates, leaders, activists, civil society groups, businesses, NGOs, trade unions to prepare a Green Manifesto for the EU elections in June. It will take determined and collective action to keep the green and social transition on track. There is no time to waste and no efforts to be spared.”
Dublin MEP Ciaran Cuffe said:
“Around Europe there are rising threats to democracy and to the values that we hold dear. A vote for the Greens in the European and Local Elections this June will support green and social progress, rather than the populist policies from others that will lead to stagnation.”
Midlands North-West candidate Pauline O’Reilly said:
“A better deal for Ireland is on the table. As we go to the polls on June 7th we know that the future is a future based on renewable energy and investment in green business. It's time for our region, from Donegal to Galway and right across the country through the Midlands to Louth, Meath and Kildare, to be fully represented in Europe. In government we've expanded rural and urban transport, reduced the costs, and are investing in solar energy like never before. A representative in Europe means European money for these important projects. And most importantly, it means a secure future for our children.”
In Courage to Change, Europe's Green parties set out their proposals to the millions of people who will vote in the European elections. With 11 priority issues, the Greens explain how the fight against extreme weather events goes hand in hand with the protection of living standards and the creation of green jobs.
The manifesto calls for an EU-level Green Transition Fund worth 1% of EU GDP per year to fund green infrastructure and industries in all parts of Europe. To prevent energy poverty, the Greens will introduce an Energy Guarantee to keep household energy consumption affordable. The Greens also foresee a European Climate Ticket for public transport across Europe.
The Green and Social Deal will break the economic dependence on fossil fuels that has led to rising energy bills and food prices, geopolitical weakness, and climate breakdown.
In the manifesto, the Greens also propose new pro-European measures to protect individual rights and freedoms against the rise of the far right and neo-fascism, such as the end of national vetoes at EU level - something that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is abusing to sabotage Europe's support for Ukraine. The European Greens strongly support the accession of new member states and Ukraine.
One of the final twelve priorities of the European Greens will be picked by the public. In December and January, a crowdsourcing campaign collected 5500 suggestions from all over Europe. Today, the online voting of the European Citizens' Choice opens. Until 24 April, citizens can vote for their favourite among ten options. Among the proposals are a ban on algorithms that spread disinformation, a ban on private jets, and the creation of a European Artist Status. The winner will be announced at the European Greens' campaign rally in May.