The Green Observatory provides a round-up of perspectives on a current political issue from the Green European Journal’s partners around Europe. This first edition focuses its lens on Brexit: how is the referendum on UK membership being discussed in different countries? And what could be the potential consequences on the ground in the case of a vote to leave the EU?
Populist and radical movements are on the rise in Europe while grassroots and democratic movements also gather strength. In this interview the Green European Journal asks Gaël Brustier to reflect on the reasons behind and triggers for these developments. Brustier calls for seizing the opportunity to build the progressives’ discourse around democracy and for the Greens to show citizens they are all about the material realities of daily life.
It would be an illusion to believe that irregular migration will come to an end as a result of the legally dubious deal agreed between EU leaders and Turkey on 18 March 2016. Instead, we should recognise that migration is a natural human phenomenon, which has to be managed as such, and reform the dysfunctional EU framework on asylum and migration.
The recent elections show there is a lot of discontent in Austria with the governing parties and their management of the crises of recent years, in particular the migration crisis, is an obvious boost for the far right. Nevertheless, to really understand what is happening, one has to consider not only the past and the present, but especially the future.
Even if tax scandals have been in the European media for years now, the Panama Papers revelations take the problem to a whole new level. This Panama Papers leak is an unprecedented event, by the size of the consortium of journalists coordinating the investigation (376 journalists from 109 media outlets) but also by the scope of the revelations, involving politicians, stars and many other celebrities.
As the Panama Papers revelations lay bare in unprecedented detail how the rich and powerful are avoiding taxes, it is tempting to think of the bankers, financial lawyers, accountants and consultants who assist them in doing so as evil psychopaths. This idea is extremely popular: ‘homo financialus’ as a monster. Think of the classic Wall Street (‘greed is good’), of the mass murdering banker in American Psycho, and more recently, of the blockbuster Wolf of Wall Street.
On April 6, the Dutch electorate voted on the ratification of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. At the end of the day, 61.59% had cast their ballot against ratification with a voter turnout of 32.2%. In the aftermath of the referendum, doubts remain on why voters chose to vote as they did. Uncertainty also remains on what steps the government should take to adequately respond to the result of the referendum. What explains the result, what solutions are likely and what is the way ahead?
A crisis point has emerged, whereby the figure of the ‘irregular’ migrant is seen as both a security threat to the European Union (EU) and its borders and as a life that is itself threatened and in need of saving by the EU and its agencies. This contradiction leads to paradoxical situations in the field of EU border politics whereby humanitarian policies and practices frequently expose ‘irregular’ migrants to dehumanising and sometimes lethal security mechanisms.
'How is all of this going to be paid for? ' This difficult question has struck the campaigns for the advancement of welfare since the 1970s - ever more frequently and intensely since the financial crisis of 2008 and resulting austerity measures that were put in place in our European liberal societies. Countering this are arguments about the necessity and logical feasibility of deficit reduction to move towards proposals that have been advanced in order to fund public services in an innovative manner; namely, a full Financial Transaction Tax.
What is the real choice UK voters are being called upon to make on June 23rd? The options seem to be either to side with the Eurosceptic forces of UKIP and their allies among the Conservatives, or to approve the government's vision of what a better deal within Europe corresponds to. In truth, neither of these are worth supporting.
“The Baden-Württemberg flying green carpet has landed in the middle of society.” These were the words uttered by Winfried Kretschmann in his speech following the victory of the Greens in the German land, a remarkable feat given the odds against them and the current trends playing in favour of the far-right. However, elsewhere in the country, the picture is somewhat different...
Music has an immense capacity to bring people together and foster cultural understanding. Case studies from the UK show us how entire new musical genres have emerged from the encounter of different musical traditions, and how the cultural landscape of a nation can be enriched thanks to the influence of migrant communities and diasporas.
Back in January 2013, David Cameron promised the British people a referendum on the European Union on the condition that the Conservatives would win the next election. What was once a fleeting promise has now become a reality and British voters have a choice to make - Brexit or Bremain?
There is a grave injustice at the heart of the global food system. Climate change has never been more prevalent, yet one of its principal perpetrators - the leading cause of deforestation, water consumption, species extinction, habitat loss, ocean dead zones and pollution, responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions (at least 14.5%) than all transport in the world combined - is being persistently ignored.
Green Parties in Europe have undergone astonishing growth and development over the past decades but has the time now come to ask 'Quo vadis'? In this Interview conducted by Michel Genet, Reinhard Bütikofer and Catherine Larrère reflect on the main milestones Greens have passed through during this time, both on a European scale and within their own national contexts of Germany and France, and discuss what paths should be taken in the future and how to communicate the Green vision through the narrow language of political rhetoric.
With the new government in place, everything is seemingly returning back to normal. Or is it? Two weeks after the Slovakian general elections, which stirred great European interest, Robert Fico forms his third government and is preparing to rule for another four more years...