Over the past decade, an ongoing reshuffle in the balance of global power has seen China change scale from regional to world actor, Russia reassert its ambition to be treated like a major player, and calls emerging for Europe to play a more active role in world politics.
At first glance, sharing initiatives would appear to be important elements for building an economy based on solidarity and sustainability. Yet, these different models of sharing do not generate the same societal and financial return. Some of them, such as Uber, are forms of ‘sharewashing’. In fact, Uber’s business model, financed by Goldman Sachs, is at the polar opposite of sharing.
“War,” said the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus, is the “father of all things.” In view of the bloody – indeed barbaric – events in the Middle East (and in Iraq and Syria in particular), one might be tempted to agree, even though such ideas no longer seem to have a place in the postmodern worldview of today’s Europe.
Major global conflicts are not resolved in the Dutch Parliament. Nor is The Hague the centre of the world. The Netherlands’ influence is determined by the extent to which it collaborates with other countries. GroenLinks therefore needs to look across the border when defining its position on military intervention. The opinions of our allies should be taken into account.
In the most recent conflict with Russia, the EU has tried to find a solution that avoids war. The EU considers military action only as the last resort – and that should not change in the future, even if we accept that the world won't become an entirely peaceful place from one day to next. An interview with Rebecca Harms.
While the traditional European way of peace-making was based on separating peoples, the Green European way of peace-building should be based on power-sharing and trust-building. Federalism can be a means to achieving this, in some cases even where the will of the those concerned is not yet present, as long as the international community stands together and ensures respect for the fundamental values of justice, equality and mutual tolerance.
Great upheavals have occurred and are still occurring in the Middle East: the successive revolutions and counter-revolutions of the Arab spring, the lightning emergence of ISIS, the agonies of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the stagnating civil war in Syria. How do the Greens analyse the situation? In their assessment, how can the people who have risen up gain control of their transition to democracy? An interview with Isabelle Durant, conducted for GEJ by Laurent Standaert.
The Kurds have conducted a remarkable democratic experiment in the north of Syria: Their “Canton-based Democratic Autonomy" is a pursuit of freedom, justice, dignity and democracy led by principles of equality and environmental sustainability. Nevertheless, protecting this area with weapons and the blood of martyrs shouldn't be applauded.
Medication and water bottles have numerous advantages in a crisis situation, but it's quite sure that they cannot be used to stop ISIS. The greatest dilemmas of European Greens are rooted in a conflict of values, as well as in the difficulty of reconciling theory and practice. To overcome them, Greens need to work on a political solution.
The European Union professes to advocate a world without nuclear weapons. Yet the number of weapons and their potency seem to be on the increase. So how can we explain the stalling of talks and postponement of real action towards nuclear disarmament, and what are the obstacles holding back the EU from being a leader by example?
Climate change represents a unique opportunity for Europe’s green parties to “lead the way” by developing a sound strategy for “greening” Europe’s foreign and security policy – and in the process revamping this stagnant dimension of European integration.
Global inequality has risen alarmingly in recent years. Together with the global climate crisis, this poses a serious threat to our entire society. The Millennium Development Goals aimed to substantially diminish this global injustice by 2015. Yet the current state of affairs highlights serious flaws, which Europe and the other industrialised countries have to learn from, if they are to demonstrate that they are serious about tackling global challenges.
While the spectrum of ideas defining a Green foreign policy remains wide, several overarching tenets have emerged over the past decades: The normative framework is built on a strong commitment to support for popular movements and “agents of change” fighting for human rights, democracy and gender equality worldwide.
Beset by the crises occurring internally and in its immediate neighbourhood, the EU has neglected its relations with South East Asia. This is a major shortcoming, since that region is becoming the epicentre of global relations and will play an increasingly important role for international security.
Many inhabitants of the Maghreb have no other choice than to leave their homes, and start a new life abroad. Instead of treating these people as criminals, the EU should try to work on a functioning policy for the region. This includes looking at problems from an environmental perspective.
Although Greens tend to agree on most issues, they don't always think alike. We asked politicians from France, the UK and Germany about their stances and those of their national parties on the military industry, drones, Afghanistan, the legacy of Joschka Fischer, among other thorny issues...