In the debate
Much of the coverage of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union has focused on the political and economic fallout of the vote, but what is the emotional impact of Brexit likely to be on those living in the UK? Drawing on the breakup of Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia illustrates how the emotions of individuals on both sides of the debate might develop over the coming years.
In June, the Green European Journal set out to explore a new book and its concepts ‘A Heart for Europe. The Case for Europatriotism’ by sociologist and freelance political writer Dick Pels. This discussion with future Member of European Parliament Florent Marcellesi, from the Green party Equo in Spain, examines the issues at stake when trying to rethink the emotional case for Europe.
In Austria, the anti-TTIP movement has a come a long way and turned public opinion against this vampire trade deal, one that cannot survive the daylight. Citizens’ movements have managed to reverse the balance of power against the interests of the multinational powerful interests. Although the reality is often forgotten behind the acronym, the four letters of TTIP represent a huge transatlantic free trade agreement. How can such a complex issue as a free trade agreement bring out the masses?
Fifteen years ago, in April 2001, an unexpected event took place in Canberra, Australia, that would change the scene of international political organisations. Without much noise or awakening of the interest of major press organisations, a significant number of environmentalists travelled to the Australian capital from the varied reaches of Africa, the Americas, Europe and Asia. They came with a single objective: to found a global Green movement that brings together all the Green parties and political movements of the Green world.
The Green Observatory provides a round-up of perspectives on a current political issue from the Green European Journal’s partners around Europe. This edition focuses its lens on the so-called ‘refugee crisis’: how is this crisis perceived and does the perception at all correlate to facts? Are the new EU proposals responding to the situation and are EU member states willing to shoulder each other?
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.
As the TTIP negotiations between the EU and US continue, another equally sinister force is currently under construction: the Environmental Goods Act (EGA). Both are conducted in secret, and we should not allow the controversy of the former to distract us too much from the great greenwash of the latter.
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 UK-EU membership, fulfilling a pledge made during the general elections of May 2015. 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.