In the debate
The Swedish power company Vattenfall, its mining activities and its impact throughout Europe - especially in Germany - illustrates the need for Greens to Europeanise their battles and their cooperation. Environmental protection and cross-national cooperation are two values that European Greens pride themselves on upholding. Vattenfall is and should be a test case for European Greens.
It sounded like a fantastic promise: “More free trade can combat climate change and overall lead to greater sustainability everywhere,” wrote American lawyer and politician James Bacchus in 2014.… Read on
We find ourselves living in a society where increasingly our actions and our right to freedom of cross-border movements - or lack thereof - are being constantly monitored, both physically and digitally. But as we enter the surveillance age, forms of digital civil disobedience are fighting to go beyond these new borders and to protect our scrutinised values and movements, and our right to privacy.
The rise of the Eurosceptic party UKIP and its leader Nigel Farage have forced British Prime Minister David Cameron to organise a referendum on the question of whether the United Kingdom should be a part of the European Union (EU) or not, fulfilling a pledge made during the general elections of May 2015. After the vote that will take place on 23rd June, the country may start negotiations to leave the EU. To judge how wise this move would be, it is interesting to consider the economic and political consequences of leaving for the United Kingdom, and more fundamentally, for the EU as a whole and as a political project.
The EU referendum debate in Britain has avoided any proper analysis of the institution’s flaws and whether or not the EU can be used by Greens to help create sustainable economies. Recent history shows the EU moving in the right direction, as fairly, democratically elected MEPs have begun taking over decision-making powers from the undemocratic bureaucrats of the Commission.
As digital, delocalised transactions increasingly become the norm, how can we ensure that corporations pay their dues in taxes when there seems to be no end of loopholes that can be exploited? And why are politicians failing to bring those who abuse the system to task? Economist Yann Moulier-Boutang and Philippe Lamberts, co-President of the Greens in the European Parliament, tackled these and other questions.
The prospect of the use of bank notes and coins becoming severely restricted, or even eliminated altogether, is one we should scrutinise closely. Making all transactions electronic could have a profound impact on the lives of many people, while giving banks even greater control over the flow of currency.
The Eurozone has been troubled by stagnating growth and low inflation since 2013 and we still haven’t fixed problems of high national debt. In order to evade another economic earthquake similar to or even bigger than the Greek crisis and to reinstate the trust in the Euro, the European Central Bank (ECB) took extraordinary measures to boost growth, raise inflation and indirectly lower the indebtedness of the Eurozone Member States: they started the Quantitative Easing (QE) program.
Viewed with suspicion, TTIP hangs over us like a dark cloud. Deemed as a threat to social rights, welfare, the environment and constitutional sovereignty, a civil society resistance movement continues to gain traction. In light of a recent leak by Greenpeace Netherlands further exposing these threats, it is time now to reassess the state of play.
The Polish Catholic Church Has Become Intertwined with Euroscepticism and the Promotion of Conservative “National Values”
After a surge of support in the Presidential and General Elections last year, the right-wing national conservative Law and Justice Party now dominates Polish politics. The government’s relationship with the Polish Church and its role in fuelling religious Euroscepticism and supporting draconian abortion laws and the close alliance shows there are mutual benefits and the Catholic Church does not easily give up its spiritual, moral and social authority.
Climate change includes major changes in temperature, precipitation, and of course many other effects that will occur over several decades or longer. Some changes of the climate are unavoidable; however, we can reduce the risks we will face and prepare for the changes that are already under way. Now, we must address how a possible Brexit might impact climate change and future climate negotiations at the national, European and global levels. Our decisions today will shape the world our children and grandchildren will live in.
For decades a wave of privatisation has been rolling across Europe, making many investors, banks and consultancies rich but making few citizens happy. The great neoliberal promise of privatised utility companies providing water, power and transport more cheaply to their customers has regularly been shown to be deception and even, in many cases, a lie.
The concept of loss and damage due to the impacts of climate change first entered into the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiating text in 2008. Eight years on, the issue still appears to be little known to people outside of a specific community of policy actors, NGOs and academics working on the issue.
As a Bruxellois, confronted with the terrible events in Zaventem and the Maelbeek metro station, terrorism has reached my doorstep. More than ten years after September 11th, my reaction to these attacks is very different to the one I had back then.
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?