In the run-up to the 2014 European elections, all citizens of Europe had the opportunity to select the two leading candidates for the European Green Party. The winners of this ‘Green Primary’ were Ska Keller and José Bové, both Members of the European Parliament. What links do they see between Europe’s history and its politics?
Polish history is shaped today by remembering the failed attempts in regaining independence. This leaves less and less space to tell different, more nuanced stories. This explains why Poland has an ambivalent memory of the First World War. In 1914, it was part of different empires. The end of the war was also the return of its independence. Strengthening alternative narratives may be crucial in opening Poland to stories linking its inhabitants to wider, European history.
Our understanding of our great history is compiled not only through our reading but also through the recounting of family stories. The commemoration of 1914 offers us the opportunity to reflect on the war, on the possibility for forgiveness, and on our responsibilities in the present.
The Brussels-Capital Region has far reaching powers, notably in the area of environmental and energy policy. Since 2004, the Belgian French-speaking Green Party Ecolo has been a part of the ruling coalition there and our efforts have led to an average per capita reduction in energy consumption of 25%.
Against the tide of right and far-right success in the French local elections, the Greens scored a big win in the race for Mayor of Grenoble. In doing so, they created a new and vibrant alternative to the left of the Socialists. What can we learn from this?
Once again, the Dutch politician Geert Wilders and his far-right party, the PVV (Freedom Party), found themselves in the headlines. At an election meeting Wilders made racist remarks and stood by them. It is a distasteful development that will have consequences beyond the Netherlands.
‘History never repeats itself. Man always does’ This well-known adage of Voltaire seems more relevant than ever. As the British nation seeks to ‘commemorate’ the centenary of the start of the First World War, it is important to be very aware of and where necessary critical of the methods and use of language by which our leaders are attempting to portray this crucial event.
There are parallels between the Europe of 1914 and that of 2014. Today’s divisions are the result of economic inequality and a crisis of democracy. The answer lies in social policy and in an anti-nationalist repolitisation of Europe.
In Portugal, emigration worsens the problems caused by austerity. A recent study documents its dramatic consequences on the demography of the country. As a result of the current trend, the Portuguese population, currently estimated at 10.4 million people, could decrease to 7 million by 2061.
Discussions among proponents of green growth and those of degrowth often fall within the category of debates that are not fruitful. But it is possible to give structure to it and to try to develop a better understanding of the link between growth, globalisation, new technologies and well-being.