Answers from the European Greens

The European Greens also known as European Green Party brings together parties that share Green values. They are striving for a Green transformation of Europe and its economy, that will bring about a progressive and sustainable future for all its citizens.
For more information, visit the website of the European Greens where you can also find the political parties from your country that are part of their group.

Social inclusion

  • How do you imagine an inclusive Europe? And what do you want to do to realize this vision?

Social inclusion is at the core of Green policy. Our priority is to build a Europe that delivers to its citizens, to all its citizens. We want to invest in a sustainable Europe that can play its role in fighting climate change. We want to guarantee a decent minimum income all over Europe. We want to uphold the rule of law so that democracy can be protected. We want to defend the right of asylum and have legal and safe channels for migration. We want to guarantee free access to quality education, fairly paid internships and good jobs for young people. Together these priorities can build an inclusive Europe.

To achieve this vision we call for the Greens to have an even bigger presence in the European Parliament. If the Greens are key to establish majorities, then we can push for a more inclusive Europe.

  • Do you think Europe does enough to help the children and young people who were forced to flee from war, persecution and hunger? How do you want to help them?

No, Europe is currently not doing enough. For us, the right to asylum is non-negotiable. We want an asylum policy based on solidarity, on humanity and an orderly process, including the fair sharing of responsibilities among Member States and re-establishing a European searescuing mission.

Europe must create common standards and common rules for labour mobility and migration. We want the Union to support countries and municipalities integrating refugees or migrants. Helping migrants should never be criminalised. People do not belong in prison for seeking asylum.

  • Do you think Europe does enough to help the children and young people in Europe who are forced to live in poverty? How do you want to help them?

No, Europe is currently not doing enough. Today, one in four people in Europe live at risk of poverty and social exclusion – including 25 million children. This is unacceptable. When Europe as a whole is wealthier than ever before, everybody deserves a decent standard of living.

Reducing poverty and tackling inequalities must be a cornerstone of all economic and social policies. We reject austerity measures that have resulted in increasing poverty and deteriorating public services.

Sustainability

  • Young people in Europe demand more climate action. What do you want to do to meet their demands?

The Greens have climate action as a main priority. There is an answer to the climate crisis: it starts with solar, wind and other renewables! We must go for 100% renewables, use our energy efficiently, phase out fossil energy and nuclear power while creating sustainable jobs in affected regions. To cut emissions fast enough to reach the 1.5°C-world we will push hard for a just transition towards a net-zero-emissions economy. An EU carbon budget and a strong carbon floor price are needed to strengthen our efforts.

We advocate phasing out coal by 2030 and other fossil fuels soon thereafter. Fossil and nuclear subsidies must stop now. Europe needs to divest from fossil fuels, to pull private and public funds from fossil investments.

  • How do you want to make travelling in Europe more sustainable?

One core Green goal is to transform the transport sector across Europe to overcome our dependency on polluting cars as quickly as possible, to stop the increasing pollution from aviation and to invest extensively in regional and cross-border railway networks.

CO2 emissions from the transport sector continue to rise, particularly from cars and flights. Connecting countries and regions with fast trains, night trains and regional trains offers a positive alternative. To level the playing field between train and air traffic, flights need to be fairly taxed.

  • What do you want to do to make sure that the European Union and its member states meet the climate goals they have agreed upon in the Paris Agreement?

Europe has to lead the way on climate action, making the Paris Agreement a reality. We want the EU to pursue all possible efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. We are calling for a European climate law, with binding carbon budgets reducing emissions by at least 55% by 2030 and building a net-zero emissions economy. This must include restoring natural carbon sinks in forests and soils.

  • Which concrete actions do you propose in progressing the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in the next term?

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development highlights that the challenges we face are universal and interconnected. The Sustainable Development Goals must be implemented across all EU internal and external policies. The Union should adopt a high-level implementation strategy which identifies and addresses the gaps in current policies. On trade, any trade treaties must have the SDGs as their foundation.

Youth exchanges, youth work & youth mobility

  • How do you want to support the work of (international) youth organizations?

We want to establish a European values instrument to support civil society and promote core values within the EU, and youth organizations should receive special attention in that. Through the Federation of Young European Greens, TILT and the European Ideas Lab, and through collaboration with other youth organizations, we aim to support the strengthening of civil society.

  • The sources of structural funding for youth organizations (especially on the international level) are limited. Application writing consumes a lot of volunteering time. What do you want to do to make the funding for youth organizations more sustainable? Where do you see chances to clear time for active volunteering rather than administrative overload?

The European Commission and the Council of Europe need to invest more on youth, not cut investment.

  • As FIMCAP we invest a lot of energy to make a fruitful exchange and a productive cooperation across continents possible. Unfortunately, often delegates and participants of youth exchanges supported by European funds are denied a visa. How do you want to make it easier for young people from other parts of the world to get visas for attending at international youth exchanges?

This is unacceptable, and the Greens have always fought against borders preventing people getting opportunities. We will continue to fight for this principle so that travelling freely across Europe can be achieved.

  • What are your plans for the future of the Erasmus+ programme, especially concerning the support of youth exchanges and international youth work?

We also call for multiplying European funding for student exchange. The Erasmus+ exchange must be broadened and strengthened to really enable people from all backgrounds to work, train or study in another country.

  • In (international) youth organizations young people gain various valuable skills and competences. What do you want to do to improve the recognition of youth work and the work of youth organizations?

Definition of youth work has changed so much in last years, bringing professionalism and recognition to it. Also young people fought and won many different battles to be included in decision making processes. Thus today is not as surprising to see MEPs under 35 as it was 10 years ago. Young people are doing a magnificent job in fighting for their own rights and our role is to support them. We will keep fighting to improve youth work conditions, such as banning unpaid internships and implementing a European Youth Guarantee that effectively gives every young person employment, continued education, an apprenticeship or an internship within four months after finishing education.

  • Working together with young people at all levels, youth organizations are experts about the needs of young people. How do you want to make sure that the expertise of youth organization will be included in your work?

Green parties, and in particular the Federation of Young European Greens, are young in membership and we recognize the importance of the voice of young people to be included in all consultation and at all decision-making levels and in all policy areas.

Youth goals & children’s rights

  • 10,000s of young people have developed within the Structured Dialogue of the European the EU Youth Goals. How are you going to integrate the framework of the youth goals in your work in the European parliament?

The Youth Goals align very well with the priorities of the European Greens – for example in terms of gender equality, quality jobs, access to education and sustainability. Our track record shows that we bring these priorities into the European Parliament and fight for them. The Greens also put a special emphasis on making the voices of young people heard, which can be seen in our good relations with youth organisations and in young leading Green figures. We open up more space for youth in decision-making.

  • Youth Goal 9 calls for providing youth-led physical facilities and infrastructures called youth spaces defined by being autonomous, open and safe, accessible to all, offering professional support for development and ensuring opportunities for youth participation. What do you want to do to create such spaces?

Greens have always been at the forefront of recognising the importance of autonomous, open and safe spaces in society. On local level around Europe, we work for more public or autonomous spaces and less enclosures and exclusion. On a European level, we see a need for more exchange on best practices on how to create and organise such spaces.

  • What do you want to do for guaranteeing the implementation of the children’s rights in Europe?

Alarming rates of children in different EU member states are at risk of poverty or social exclusion. We need to end child poverty and inequality by investing in children. Investments in healthcare, education and environmental protection benefit children the most. Actively working against discrimination is positive especially for girls and migrant children. We must also recognise that children have rights beyond Europe’s borders and that Europe must foster peace and humanitarian aid instead of selling weapons that end up harming children in e.g. Yemen.

Diversity, peace & respect

  • Many young people suffer from the consequences of hate speech. What do you want to do to combat hate speech?

We are proud that Europe is diverse and colourful. We strongly condemn and fight any kind of discrimination and hate crimes on the basis of – but not limited to – age, gender and sexual identity, class, ethnicity and their intersections. We want all policies and services to recognise the true diversity of people and their families – and the contribution they make to our societies. We always choose hope over hate and we won’t tolerate hate speech anywhere.

  • Youth organizations like FIMCAP and its member organization strengthen the civil society. What do you want to support them to fulfill this important function?

The strengthening of civil society will always be a priority for the Greens. We will stand with civil society and provide a bridge for their claims to be brought into the European Parliament and provide space in our campaigns and structures for them. We will also keep supporting the Federation of Young Greens, the youth organization of the European Greens, in their work to represent the youth.

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