In recent years, the volume of articles and books dedicated to the democratic crisis has been constantly expanding. The same is true of the literature addressing the ecological crisis. Yet a simultaneous reflection both on the ecological and on the democratic crisis has not accompanied this proliferation. This is the intention of this print edition of the Green European Journal.
With hard-right parties on the rise across Europe, Greens can learn from this recent surge in ‘populism’ by developing a positive and inclusive conception of the term. A Grand Narrative about a ‘Europe of hearts’ can speak to people directly and produce a different kind of patriotism to that of the nationalists: Europatriotism.
The UK’s new ‘Tarpaulin Revolution,’ led by a revived Occupy movement and featuring many Greens, hopes to capture the imaginations of people across Europe – in cities and countries also suffering the impacts of inequality, austerity and ‘democracy’ weighted to benefit the 1%.
Joschka Fischer's new book, 'Is Europe Failing?' does not offer armour-plated solutions. Nevertheless, as well as its sharp analysis of the causes of the current European problems, it proposes a framework for resolving them. In any case, the book is an essential reading - beginning with the electric shock of seeing such an ardent supporter of the construction of a united Europe sounding such a loud alarm.
Secretive changes to the London Court of International Arbitration will make the current EU-US Trade Deal even more damaging for democracy. This makes it even more urgent that citizens in the UK and across Europe oppose such a worrying trade deal and the Investor-State Dispute Settlement that goes with it. This trade deal will turn Europe into a real-life game of Monopoly - where the rich can snap up anything they want.
The trajectory of the 'End Ecocide' ECI has highlighted some of the challenges faced by activists in using this democratic tool, and some of the flaws which need to be improved if it is to fulfil its aim of making the EU more responsive to citizens. An interview with Thomas Eitzenberger and Lilia Tamamdzhieva, coordinators of the ECI.
While an excellent book, we need to look further than simply saying 'social movements are the only answer' if we are to develop effective movements that create change. The need for social movement mobilisation too easily becomes a slogan rather than a nuanced solution. We can both praise and look deeper than Klein's 'This Changes Everything'.
The new IPCC report on climate change marks the last word from the scientific community ahead of the very important COP21 meeting in Paris next year. Internationally things may be moving in the right direction, but the political will to fully embrace a divestment from fossil fuels to renewables isn’t quite there yet. Nonetheless, activists are working on it...
In the protest movements that have emerged since the financial crisis, from Occupy in the US to the Arab Spring, social media has gained new significance as a method of communication, both between activists and as a means of bringing the message to the rest of the world. The protests which took hold in Turkey last year were no exception - but how has the situation developed since then, and how have the authorities responded?
Has the rise of new media helped to strengthen democracy in Turkey, where press freedom has long been in a fragile state? Or have the new trends, technologies and channels been co-opted by authorities to use for their own ends, as an updated instrument of the party? Despite the potential of new media, the events following last year's protests in Turkey do not give us cause for optimism in this regard.